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DATE News (chronologically)
05/29/06
irl
How much they won in 90th Indy 500 How much they won in 90th Indy 50090th Indianapolis 500
INDIANAPOLIS - Results Sunday of the 90th Indianapolis 500 IRL IndyCar Series event May 28 at the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with order of finish, starting position in parentheses, driver, chassis-engine, laps completed, reason out (if any) and money won:
 
1. (1) Sam Hornish Jr., Dallara-Honda, 200, $1,744,855
2. (9) Marco Andretti, Dallara-Honda, 200, $698,505
3. (13) Michael Andretti, Dallara-Honda, 200, $480,105
4. (3) Dan Wheldon, Dallara-Honda, 200, $566,405
5. (5) Tony Kanaan, Dallara-Honda, 200, $340,405
6. (4) Scott Dixon, Dallara-Honda, 200, $361,005
7. (17) Dario Franchitti, Dallara-Honda, 200, $307,905
8. (10) Danica Patrick, Panoz-Honda, 200, $285,805
9. (8) Scott Sharp, Dallara-Honda, 200, $283,805
10. (6) Vitor Meira, Dallara-Honda, 200, $267,705
11. (12) Ed Carpenter, Dallara-Honda, 199, $264,805
12. (25) Buddy Lazier, Dallara-Honda, 199, $274,805
13. (19) Eddie Cheever Jr., Dallara-Honda, 198, $235,805
14. (18) Max Papis, Dallara-Honda, 197, $249,305
15. (7) Kosuke Matsuura, Dallara-Honda, 196, $227,805
16. (28) Roger Yasukawa, Panoz-Honda, 194, $248,805
17. (24) Jaques Lazier, Panoz-Honda, 193, $239,305
18. (29) Airton Dare, Panoz-Honda, 193, $216,805
19. (32) PJ Jones, Panoz-Honda, 189, $234,305
20. (16) Bryan Herta, Dallara-Honda, 188, $234,805
21. (21) Felipe Giaffone, Dallara-Honda, 177, accident, $227,305
22. (15) Townsend Bell, Dallara-Honda, 161, suspension, $204,555
23. (26) Jeff Simmons, Panoz-Honda, 152, accident, $202,305
24. (27) Al Unser Jr., Dallara-Honda, 145, accident, $200,305
25. (2) Helio Castroneves, Dallara-Honda, 109, accident, $280,355
26. (14) Buddy Rice, Panoz-Honda, 108, accident, $224,805
27. (11) Tomas Scheckter, Dallara-Honda, 65, accident, $195,305
28. (31) Arie Luyendyk Jr., Panoz-Honda, 54, handling, $196,055
29. (30) Stephan Gregoire, Panoz-Honda, 49, handling, $193,305
30. (23) Larry Foyt, Dallara-Honda, 43, handling, $192,305
31. (33) Thiago Medeiros, Panoz-Honda, 24, electrical, $202,555
32. (22) Jeff Bucknum, Dallara-Honda, 1, accident, $193,805
33. (20) P.J. Chesson, Dallara-Honda, 1, accident, $216,555
05/29/06
cc
nascar
Part 1: NASCAR vs. Champ Car in Montreal Part 1: NASCAR vs. Champ Car in MontrealWhen Montreal businessman Alan Labrosse acquired the Montreal Champ Car race two years ago for the modest sum of $1, he believed he had seized the opportunity of a lifetime. Today we could believe that he inherited a poisoned gift.

By Martin Leclerc
Journal de Montreal (Originally published in French, translated to English for our readers)
Saturday, May 27, 2006
Page 106, 107

In April 2004, Champ Car emerged from the ashes of the CART series, after its owners brought it into bankruptcy in order to get rid of its debts.

Difficult years were in the new championship’s future, embroiled in a merciless war with the Indy Racing League.

Labrosse however saw the big picture. It is the reason he entered into a written agreement with Normand Legault to acquire the race and to stay in business for a minimum of 10 years.

“This transaction fully satisfied me as well because it freed me from a $6 million obligation that I was contractually bound to with CART/Champ Car to present races in 2004, 2005 and 2006,” confided Legault recently from his Montreal office.

Legault, who did not appreciate the somewhat “cowboy” style of certain new shareholders of Champ Car, (Paul Gentilozzi among others) decided to no longer do business with them.

Since his contract did not allow him to sell the Champ Car rights, which he thought too expensive, he simply sold the company Championnat Automobile Montreal (CAM) that held the rights. zzzz

GOODBYE EXCLUSIVITY

To make the transaction official, Legault’s office sent a letter to the Societe du parc des Iles, advising municipal authorities that Legault gave half his exclusive use of Circuit Gilles Villeneuve to Labrosse.

This infamous letter is at the heart of the entire saga and conflict between the two promoters for the use of the circuit over the coming years.

In 2004, the Champ Car race was presented by Labrosse. On the organizational front, the affair was a success in every way, even if the new promoter lacked the time to get fully get ready.

Financially however, the race left a deficit of a little more than $2 million, approximately the equivalent of the sanction fee due to Champ Car.

Molson, who held the Champ Car rights for Canada, largely picked up the tab.

In the weeks that followed, rather than distancing itself from Labrosse as expected, Molson presented him with a lucrative project in which the brewer would assume all the financial risks for future Champ Car races. The project went so far as to include Labrosse as the promoter for the Toronto race. It was at this point that the business relationship with Legault began to go downhill.

ORGANIZED SABOTAGE?

Legault was hardly enthusiastic about the partnership project with the brewer. Remember that a few months earlier, Ian Molson had stabbed him in the back by going directly to Bernie Ecclestone in London in an attempt to strip him of the Grand Prix of Canada.

Rather than let Molson put foot on Ile Notre Dame in any role other than sponsor, Legault preferred to get in contact with Champ Car management in order to get his hands on - at a discount - the Montreal race.

What followed is somewhat amusing.

As soon at they stepped foot on Ile Notre Dame for the 2005 race, Champ Car management was scarlet red. There were hardly any grandstands on the site and was not set up as it had been in previous years. Instead of finding grandstands installed on the front straight in front of the pitlane, there was a boat exhibit! It was a first in the annals of racing in Montreal. And maybe in the world.

“Champ Car owners met in a motorhome and there was a lot of yelling,” says a witness to the scene who cannot be identified. “Legault was called every name in the book. In the eyes of everyone, he was sabotaging the event.”

During this famous weekend, Legault was seen on the Champ Car race site in the company of NASCAR representatives.

“We installed grandstands where fans want to buy seats, and not where the Champ Car people wanted grandstands,” explained Legault.

LABROSSE REAPPEARS

What will be, will be.

Several days after the race, Normand Legault sent a letter to Champ Car directors advising them that the minimum revenues guaranteed in the contract had not been met and, by the fact, the contract was no longer valid.

Champ Car tried in vain for months to rebuild the bridge with Legault. But, the promoter of the Grand Prix of Canada had already made his choice. the Busch series, a minor league NASCAR championship would make its inaugural appearance on Ile Notre Dame in 2007.

However he forgot one small detail: Labrosse still held half of the exclusive use of the track on Ile Notre Dame. The lease linking the two promoters to the Societe du parc des Iles expires this year.

Champ Car turned once again to Labrosse to organize the 2006 race. In the eyes of Legault, the problem is over. Champ Car has to clean out and get out of Montreal by 2007.

“The contract that links me to F1 stipulates that I must at all times control the site where the Grand Prix of Canada is held. Municipal authorities are placing the survival of the F1 Grand Prix in jeopardy if they give a lease to Labrosse. What they have to decide is if they prefer that the F1 Grand Prix stays in Montreal or if they want to keep on presenting the Champ Car race.”

LAME EXPLANATIONS

Two years ago when he wanted to rid himself of $6 million in contract obligations to Champ Car, Legault had no difficulty with the idea of giving up part of the control he held for the racetrack on Ile Notre Dame.

Two years ago when he sold CAM to Labrosse, a clause in the contract stipulated that the company must remain active for a minimum of 10 years.

How now to explain his change in reasoning?

“Alan knew when he bought CAM that he would not be able to organize a race on Ile Notre Dame after 2006,” states Legault firmly.

“I wouldn’t have agreed to keep the company alive for a decade if that was the case,” retorts Labrosse.

THE MAYOR’S POLITICAL DEBTS

That’s where we are.

Two years ago Legault said that he would do everything to help Labrosse to make a success out of the Champ Car race. Today, he’s trying to evict him from Ile Notre Dame.

On his side, Labrosse believes that he acquired the rights to use the circuit. He’s probably not wrong.

In the middle of all of this is Mayor Gerald Tremblay, who, at the end of the line has to decide if he crushes Labrosse or not, in order to solidify Legault’s projects.

The Grand Prix F1 promoter is an intelligent and organized man. If he permits himself to whisper into the ear of journalists from the Gazette that the arrival of NASCAR in Montreal is a done deal, it is certainly not for nothing.

In 2004 Mayor Tremblay earned political capital when he rode on Legault’s shoulders during the saga of saving the Grand Prix. The following year Tremblay also called upon Legault to save the World Aquatics.

Under these conditions it is without a doubt easy for Legault to predict the outcome.

As for Labrosse, Legault may have thought of him as the “perfect buyer”. But to his great surprise, he’s still there, with his letter in his pocket. Journal de Montreal

05/29/06
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nascar
Part 2: NASCAR vs. Champ Car in Montreal Part 2: NASCAR vs. Champ Car in MontrealWho is right? Alan Labrosse or Normand Legault? NASCAR or Champ Car? What will Mayor Gerald Tremblay do to determine which of the promoters has the right to use Ile Notre Dame and Circuit Gilles Villeneuve from 2007 on?

A Commentary by Martin Leclerc
Journal de Montreal (Originally published in French, translated to English for our readers)
Sunday, May 28, 2006

The publication of our report yesterday on the behind-the-scene games and the power games surrounding the apparent arrival of NASCAR in Montreal, sparked enormous reaction and questions from our readers. And unfortunately, the debate is has only just begun.

The question is not whether one promoter has more rights than the other or whether one championship is more interesting than the other.

There are many people in the affair who are portraying themselves as great Montrealers. It is perhaps time that someone begin to ask the question: What is best for Montreal?

The question that we should be asking Mayor Tremblay right now is; is Montreal so rich and prosperous that it can spit on an event like a Champ Car race?

The city’s budget is tight. The streets are full of holes. The infrastructure is falling into ruin and most of all, the citizens and business owners do not have the impression that they are getting the level of services that correspond with the heavy tax burden they pay each year. zzzz

The Expos have been gone for several years and hardly anything happens on the sports front in Montreal during the summer.

PURE FOOLISHNESS

In Canada, all provincial and municipal governments battle it out in order to attract the simplest tap dance festival and try to general economic spillover. It was just a short while ago that Tourism Montreal unblocked $15 million with a goal of attracting more American tourists to the city.

And here we have three major auto racing championships knocking on the door saying, “we want to come to you”! And Montreal has the chance to become a real motorsports world capital much in the same way as Indianapolis, LeMans and Monaco.

Instead of asking himself how to welcome all of these great people, the mayor wonders how he can “flush” the Champ Car series because someone, some day promised swimmers on the golden beach that there would never be more than two races a year on Ile Notre Dame.

One year after squandering millions (of dollars) into the World Aquatic Championship like it was nothing, Montreal now wants to throw away a race that costs nothing to organize and has generated close to $100 million in economic spin-offs over the past five years. Are we going crazy?

How much is the two-hour Champ Car race broadcast, live from Montreal, on the American network, NBC, worth to us?

THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF A MAYOR

The solution is not a difficult one. At city hall there should already be a team in place preparing to welcome three races starting in 2007.

It is all very nice and well that the bathers want tranquility and environmentalists desire to watch the grass grow in silence, but, at the end of the day, isn’t it the mayor’s first responsibility to make his city more welcoming, more prosperous and to do everything he can to stimulate the economy?

Can you please tell us what you are doing there Mr. Mayor, refereeing disagreements between race promoters. Journal de Montreal

05/29/06
ga
Bunting and Lally win Rolex GT Series Challenge Bunting and Lally win Rolex GT Series ChallengeLAKEVILLE, Conn. – In the first Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve event at Lime Rock Park since 2001, No. 65 TRG/F1 Air Pontiac GTO.R co-drivers Andy Lally and Marc Bunting turned in a dominating performance en route to their second victory of the season in the Rolex GT Series Challenge.

The key to victory for the No. 65 team came on Lap 19 of the 163-lap race, when Lally took over for Bunting in the cockpit of the No. 65 machine under full-course caution. The team originally planned for Boston native RJ Valentine to also log a driving shift at his home track, hence the reason for the early pit stop. However, Valentine elected to forego his stint in favor of getting Lally into the car.

Lally caught and passed teammate Kelly Collins in the No. 64 TRG/iRise Pontiac GTO.R on Lap 83, and Collins brought the No. 65 machine onto pit lane at the end of the same lap to turn the car over to co-driver Paul Edwards. The early switch allowed Lally to build a lead of more than one lap, and without needing to make a driver change, Lally was able to retain the race lead after his final pit stop of the day on Lap 107. He went on to win by 11.449 seconds over Edwards. zzzz

“I can’t thank this team enough,” said Lally. “The track really suits these Pontiacs and our team really nailed the setup. Even at the end of the race when our tires were starting to wear, the car had really good balance and our strategy really played out well. This crew and this team has just done so much to get us to the top step of the podium, and it feels good to extend our points lead.”

With the victory, Bunting and Lally extended their lead in the GT driver standings to 17 points, 314-297, over No. 72 NEC Porsche GT3 co-drivers Robin Liddell and Wolf Henzler at the halfway point in the 13-race GT class season. The Memorial Day victory for the No. 65 duo follows a triumph in the VIR 400 last month, and was the fourth-consecutive top-two finish for the co-drivers. It was also their sixth podium result in seven races this season.

“The plan was always for me to come in during the first caution flag,” said Bunting. “I tried to run as steady a race as I could and hand the car off in good position. It is my first time on the top step of the podium here at Lime Rock and it doesn’t get better than this.”

Collins, who started from the front row, led the first 82 laps before surrendering the lead to Lally and the No. 64 car to Edwards. It was the sixth consecutive top-four performance for Collins and Edwards, a run that included victories at Phoenix International Raceway, Homestead-Miami Speedway and Mexico City.

“This is a very tight track and these Pontiacs ran such a good race,” said Collins. “The No. 65 team had a strategy that worked perfectly, and the fans here got to see a great race. This was one of the biggest crowds we’ve had all season. I want to thank all of the fans that came out here to keeping up the Memorial Day tradition here at Lime Rock.”

It was the second consecutive 1-2 finish for the TRG team and the third time that the California-based team has swept the top-two positions this season. The performance also moved Collins and Edwards to within one point of Liddell and Henzler in the championship standings.

“This TRG/iRise team has worked so hard this year,” said Edwards. “They always put us in a good position to be near the front of the pack and they did it once again today.  We’ve been on a pretty good roll here lately and hopefully we can keep that up.”

Henzler and Liddell completed the podium with a third-place run. Whereas the No. 65 and No. 64 teams had a relatively easy run to the front of the field, that was not the case for the Tafel Racing duo. Henzler originally qualified on the pole position, but post-qualifying technical inspection revealed that the car’s ride height was too low and the No. 72 machine was forced to the back of the starting grid.

From the start of the race, Henzler steadily worked his way forward, running as high as second place at one point before handing over the controls to Liddell in a pit stop on Lap 80. It was the sixth-consecutive top-four performance for Liddell and Henzler, who earned their first victories of the season in the Road & Track 250 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca earlier this month.

Vic Rice and Tommy Riggins put together a stellar drive in the No. 57 Stevenson Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette to finish a season-best fourth after starting ninth. The result earned the Rice and Riggins the SunTrust Improve Your Position Award for its five-position improvement from start to finish. The fourth-place run eclipses the duo’s previous best run of sixth in the VIR 400.

David Murry and Leh Keen rounded out the top five in the No. 80 Shoes for Crews/Synergy Racing Porsche GT3. It was the duo’s sixth consecutive top-eight result and its best result since finishing second in the Mexico City 250 at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in March.

05/29/06
formula bmw
Matt Lee Wins after de Silvestro disqualified Matt Lee Wins after de Silvestro disqualifiedLakeville, Conn. Matt Lee (Team Autotecnica) was declared the winner of today's Round 4 race at Lime Rock Park after Simona de Silvestro (EuroInternational) was excluded following post-race technical inspection. De Silvestro, the runner-up in Saturday's Round 3 race and front row starter today, took the lead from polesitter Lee on lap 4. She held him at bay for the remaining 21 laps of the 30-minute contest around the 1.53-mile Lime Rock circuit. The race ended under yellow following a spin by Scott Schroeder which left him high sided on curbing on lap 19. Following de Silvestro's disqualification, Round 2 winner Daniel Morad (AIM Autosport) moved up to second, retaining the lead in Rookie points. John Zartarian (Gelles Racing) took over the third position. Sebastian Saavedra (Gelles Racing) set the fastest lap of the race (52.259 seconds) on lap 20.

A total of five drivers gave their season-best performances. In addition to Lee, Maxime Pelletier (Gelles Racing) finished fourth, Jordan Dick (Team Apex Racing USA) finished seventh, Phillip Major (Atlantic Racing Team) finished 10th and Joel Jackson (Gelles Racing) finished 15th.

IMSA's Race Director excluded de Silvestro's car for a non-compliant part. EuroInternational filed an official protest and following a protest hearing the IMSA Stewards upheld the decision. An appeal by the team may follow.  zzzz

Robert Wickens (Team Apex Racing USA) leads the Overall point, with second Morad and Reed Stevens (HBR Motorsport Team USA) third. Saavedra leads Morad in the Rookie points. David Garza (EuroInternational) stands third.

The top finishing Rookies were Morad (P2), Maxime Pelletier (P4), Jordan Dick (P7), Saavedra (P9) and Robert Thorne (P14).

Lee said, "Definitely, I want to continue these strong finishes. I had the pole position, finished second - now declared the winner. It was a long race with 25 laps and one mistake allowed Simona to pass me. I raced really hard and will continue this strategy in the next Rounds when we race in Montreal and Indianapolis. Of course I would like to win, but definitely a podium finish should be possible."

Morad said, "I am very happy with my podium finish. I like the race track a lot. It fits my style almost perfectly. It is a little bit bumpy, but I don't really mind as it is more to my advantage." Regarding the next Rounds in support of the Canadian Grand Prix he added, "Montreal is almost my home track - it is about five hours away from home - and a lot of my friends and family will be there and watching."

The 2006 Formula BMW USA championship takes a three-week break before the four most popular rounds of the year take place in support of the Canadian Grand Prix on June 23 - 25 and the United Stated Grand Prix on June 30 - July 2.

Round 4 - Results (25 laps)
1 Matt Lee Team Autotecnica 25:19.067
2 Daniel Morad (R) AIM Autosport 25:19.362
3 John Zartarian Gelles Racing 25:20.297
4 Maxime Pelletier (R) Gelles Racing 25:20.889
5 Race Johnson HBR Motorsport Team USA 25:21.733
6 Robert Wickens Team Apex Racing USA 25:22.470
7 Jordan Dick (R) Team Apex Racing USA 25:23.165
8 Adrien Herberts Gelles Racing 25:23.893
9 Sebastian Saavedra (R) Gelles Racing 25:23.993
10 Philip Major Atlantic Racing Team 25:24.793
11 Reed Stevens HBR Motorsport Team USA 25:26.426
12 Ryan Campbell Gelles Racing 25:27.404
13 Doug Boyer AIM Autosport 25:28.894
14 Robert Thorne (R) Team Autotecnica 25:30.346
15 Joel Jackson (R) Gelles Racing 25:32.151
16 David Garza (R) EuroInternational 25:32.348
17 Frankie Muniz Jensen Motorsport 25:33.529
18 Steven Guerrero (R) HBR Motorsport Team USA 25:34.373
19 Ryan Phinny Hearn Motorsports 25:35.014
20 Jules Duc Hearn Motorsports 25:36.201
21 Marco Santos Haberfeld & Walker Racing 25:37.069
22 Yannick Hofman HBR Motorsport Team USA 25:39.767
23 Scott Schroeder American Spirit Grand Prix 19 laps
24 David Rangel Haberfeld & Walker Racing 0 laps
25 David Farias (R) Jensen Motorsport DNS
26 Simona de Silvestro EuroInternational Excluded*

*Excluded for violation of 5.19 and 5.4.2 Formula BMW USA regulations

Championship points after 4 of 14 races:
1. Robert Wickens (Team Apex Racing USA, 41), 2. Daniel Morad (AIM Autosport, 35), 3. Reed Stevens (HBR Motorsport Team USA, 32), 4. John Zartarian (Gelles Racing, 30), 5. Matt Lee (Autotecnica, 25), 6. Simona de Silvestro (EuroInternational, 25), 7. David Garza (EuroInternational, 25), 8. Race Johnson (HBR Motorsport Team USA, 24), 9. Sebastian Saavedra (Gelles Racing, 22), 10. Adrien Herberts (Gelles Racing, 19), 11. Maxime Pelletier (Gelles Racing, 14), 12. Ryan Campbell (Gelles Racing, 10), 13. Doug Boyer (AIM Autosport, 8), 14. Scott Schroeder (American Spirit Grand Prix, 6), 15. Jordan Dick (Team Apex Racing USA, 6), 16. Robert Thorne (Team Autotecnica, 4), 17. Philip Major (Atlantic Racing Team, 1), 18. Ryan Phinny (Hearn Motorsports, 0), 19. Jules Duc (Hearn Motorsports, 0), 20. Yannick Hofman (HBR Motorsport Team USA, 0), 21. Marco Santos (Haberfeld & Walker Racing, 0), 22. Steven Guerrero (HBR Motorsport Team USA, 0), 23. David Rangel (Haberfeld & Walker Racing, 0), 24. David Farias (Jensen Motorsport, 0), 24. Frankie Muniz (Jensen Motorsport, 0), 26. Joel Jackson (Gelles Racing, 0)

Rookies: 1. Sebastian Saavedra (60), 2. Daniel Morad (51), 3. David Garza (51), 4. Maxime Pelletier (45), 5. Robert Thorne (38), 6. Jordan Dick (34), 7. Steven Guerrero (17), 8. Joel Jackson (16)

05/29/06
irl
Hornish earns $1.74 million Hornish earns $1.74 millionINDIANAPOLIS - Sam Hornish Jr. earned $1,744,855 from a record purse of $10,518,565 for his stunning victory May 28 in the 90th Indianapolis 500-Mile Race. Hornish passed rookie Marco Andretti on the final lap as they approached the famous "Yard of Bricks," crossing the finish line just .0635 of a second ahead of Andretti.

It was the second-closest finish in Indianapolis 500 history and Hornish's first victory in "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing," in his seventh start.

Hornish's winnings and the total purse were announced May 29 during the Indianapolis 500 Victory Celebration at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. His win in the No. 6 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Honda/Firestone gave team owner Roger Penske a record 14th victory.

This year's event purse broke the record of $10,304,815 set in 2005. This is the fifth consecutive year the overall purse for the field of 33 drivers has exceeded $10 million. The event purse is comprised of Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indy Racing League and sponsor awards, and other designated awards. Buddy Rice earned the record driver's payout of $1,761,740 in 2004. zzzz

Hornish, a 26-year-old native of Defiance, Ohio, and resident of nearby Napoleon, Ohio, led three times for 19 laps, becoming the 18th driver to win the race from the pole and the first driver in the race to take the lead on the final lap. Hornish closed on the No. 26 NYSE Group Dallara/Honda/Firestone car of Andretti exiting Turn 4 and dramatically passed him on the inside just before the finish line.

The race featured 14 lead changes among seven drivers. 2005 winner Dan Wheldon led the most laps with 148.

Andretti earned $698,505 for finishing an IRL IndyCar Series career-best second. The "500" was only his fourth start in the top-level open-wheel racing series, and his result earned him the prestigious Indianapolis 500 Chase Rookie of the Year Award and its $25,000 bonus. Andretti's grandfather, Mario Andretti, won rookie of the year honors in 1965 after finishing third, and his father, Michael, shared the top rookie award with Roberto Guerrero after finishing fifth in 1984.

Michael Andretti followed his son across the line to finish third in the No. 1 Jim Beam/Vonage Dallara/Honda/Firestone and earned $480,105. Andretti nearly won the race, his 15th start at the "500," when he led Laps 194-197 before his son passed him.

Hornish's contributions to the sport on a personal level also were recognized at the Victory Celebration. He was awarded the Scott Brayton Driver's Trophy, presented since 1997 to the driver who best exemplifies the character and racing spirit of the late Scott Brayton.

The 91st Indianapolis 500-Mile Race is scheduled for May 27, 2007.

05/29/06
f1
'Tuttosport' slam Schu 'Tuttosport' slam Schu(GMM) Even Italy's usually loyal press got stuck into beloved Ferrari driver Michael Schumacher following his nightmarish Monaco event.

'Tuttosport' wrote: ''If he drives like that, he either needs psychological help or he should stop.''

Elsewhere in the Italian press on Monday, it is reported that Ferrari and its 37-year-old driver risk being hauled in front of the FIA's 'World Motor Sport Council' if they continue to quarrel with the stewards' qualifying ruling.

Jean Todt, in his post-race sitting with reporters, did not shy away from delivering his forthright opinion, but he also denied that the venom of criticism directed towards Schumacher will affect his decision about the future.

''Fortunately for us we do not have to consider that,'' said the Maranello-based team's chief.

''We know where we stand.''

Asked whether he regretted criticizing the FIA-appointed stewards, however, he added: ''I only said that I do not share their opinion.

''I stand by every word.''

05/29/06
f1
Schu penalty not hard enough, says Whitmarsh Schu penalty not hard enough, says Whitmarsh(GMM)  Stewards did not hand down a hard enough penalty for Michael Schumacher's Rascasse moment at Monaco.

That's the belief of McLaren 'F1 CEO' Martin Whitmarsh, who said the wrongdoing was so bad that it should have prevented the Ferrari driver from taking home even a single point for his world championship tally.

On the other hand, he said: ''(Giancarlo) Fisichella was much too harshly punished for a much less serious action.

''I think that exclusion (from the race) would have been justified (for Schumacher), but fortunately I am not a steward!''

05/29/06
f1
No deadline for Kimi decision, says McLaren No deadline for Kimi decision, says McLaren(GMM) McLaren has not set a deadline for Kimi Raikkonen to make up his mind about 2007, according to team bigwig Martin Whitmarsh.

The Woking based squad's 'F1 CEO' revealed in Monte Carlo: ''No -- we are concentrating on the races.''

Whitmarsh added: ''We don't believe it is necessary or useful to set a deadline.''

Raikkonen, 26, is linked strongly with a switch to Ferrari next year, but McLaren have made it clear that - should he want to stay in silver - they favor him over Juan Pablo Montoya as a teammate for incoming Fernando Alonso.

''We are patient people and we will see how it develops,'' Whitmarsh continued. ''The most important thing for the team and Kimi are results.''

Mercedes' competition director Norbert Haug, meanwhile, denied that Raikkonen's continuing run of mechanical breakdowns in Monte Carlo has damaged McLaren's prospects of hanging onto the 'iceman'.

The German told 'sid': ''I'm sure he is not jumping up and down with glee (about the result), but he will when he thinks about the speed of his car (at Monaco).

''If we make another step forward with our performance, perhaps he will decide not to leave the team too early.''

McLaren, like many teams, will this week test at Barcelona in Spain.

05/29/06
irl
nascar
f1
Quotes of the week Quotes of the week
"Second place is nothing at this place.  “They don’t remember the people who finish second here." Marco Andretti after losing the Indy 500 in the final 100 yards Sunday

"I thank God for giving me so much talent." A conceited Sam Hornish after winning the Indy 500 with a slingshot pass in the final 100 yards.

"We got beat like a drum by Sam many times, that’s why we hired him.......so he can beat others like a drum. He's the best oval racer out there right now" Roger Penske after winning the Indy 500 for a record extending 14th time.

“It was a storybook finish,” said Michael Andretti, who was passed by his son on a green-flag restart with five laps to go. “People are going to remember that (Andrettis finishing 2-3) even more than Hornish winning the race. What are the odds of a father and son coming down for that?”   But it could have been so much more. It could have been one of the most improbable and electric moments in the history of sports. The Andrettis were 1-2 with three laps to go, and Tony George, the operator of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the brains and money behind the IRL, probably felt as if he’d bought a winning lottery ticket.  A 1-2 Andretti finish, regardless of the winner, would have been the best thing to happen to the Indy 500 since the event began its free fall in 1995, the first year of the IRL-Champ Car split. An Andretti in the winner’s circle would have topped Danica Patrick’s 2005 fourth-place finish. Hornish can win 10 Indys, and he still won’t be a star. He lacks charisma and personality.  Jason Whitlock, Kansas City Star

"The drivers can make it on just two more stops." Larry McReynolds who struggles terribly with the English language, and now mathematics too. Just before a restart on Lap 254 at Lowe's Motor Speedway for the Coca-Cola 600, he said the leaders might make it the rest of the way on two more stops. The cars get just 40 laps on a fuel load with the smaller fuel cells. So 254 laps plus 120 (3 x 40 laps) is 374 laps. Were the cars going to run on air for the final 26 laps of the 400 lap race?

"Michael should have used his right hand and covered the camera while he did it." Kimi Raikkonen after seeing what Michael Schumacher did at Monaco to win the pole by parking his car on the track.

05/29/06
alms
LMES
Audi diesel to turn first laps at LeMans Audi diesel to turn first laps at LeMansThe new Audi R10 TDI will complete its first test laps on the "Circuit des 24 Heures” at Le Mans (France) next Sunday. The official test day represents the only testing opportunity on the circuit which is formed partly by closed public roads. All six Audi "factory” drivers will be in action during the test scheduled from 0900 hrs to 1300 hrs and 1400 hrs to 1800 hrs. Among them numbers Le Mans record winner and DTM leader Tom Kristensen. Following the test day, the two Audi R10 TDI prototypes will remain at Le Mans where they will be prepared for the race on 17/18 June. Audi PR
05/29/06
irl
A proud mom A proud momAlthough her oldest son Marco did not win, Sandy Andretti pictured right (Michael Andretti's first wife) who was on hand to witness her son's first Indy 500, was proud that he finished 2nd and almost won the race in what many are calling one of the greatest rookie drives in the history of the Indy 500.  Marco is almost assured of being named the Rookie of The Year at the Awards ceremony, a feat his grandfather accomplished in 1965 and his father in 1984 - the first time three generations of the same family ever accomplished that feat.
05/29/06
cc
Dominguez featured in Soccer ad Dominguez featured in Soccer adSoccer is so big in Mexico that every other sport has to take a back seat, especially in the year of the World Cup. Take for example the TV ads TELMEX is running on national TV in Mexico - different personalities and athletes are shown clapping their hands 3 times and chanting "Mexico, Mexico, Mexico", and in white bold letters the message, everyone is supporting the national team. TELMEX is also supporting them. One of the athletes is Champ Car driver Mario Dominguez, who is shown clapping and chanting with Nomex underwear and his helmet on. Jose Arrambide
05/29/06
f1
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Schu sorry but says not guilty
Monaco puts Webber back on the radar
Germany defends 'Schummel Schumi'
Alonso slams Schu
Haug defends McLaren after fire melts Kimi
Fisi proves passing possible at Monaco
Ghosn says Renault won't slash budget
05/28/06
Formula Nippon
Lotterer wins at Motegi Lotterer wins at Motegi
Pos. Driver Time Team Engine
1. #36 A.Lotterer  1:53'49.348 Tom's Toyota
2. #19 B.Treluyer  1:53'50.412 Impul Toyota
3. #1 S.Motoyama  1:54'44.481 Arting Impul  Toyota
4. #40 B.Wirdheim 1:54'49.237 Dandelion Honda
5. #20 T.Matsuda 1:55'21.712 Impul Toyota
6. #31 L.Duval  1:55'31.263 Nakajima Honda
7. #5 R.Michigami  1:53'56.730 5zigen Honda
8. #32 H.Muto  1:54'05.196 Nakajima Honda
9. #4 M.Yanagida 1:54'25.687 Kondo Toyota
10. #11 Y.Tachikawa  1:54'48.659 Cerumo Toyota
11. #8 T.Takagi  1:54'49.023 LeMans Toyota
12. #6 R.Orime  1:55'33.370 5zigen Honda
13. #27 S.Mitsuyama  1:54'31.515 Direxiv Honda
14. #3 S.Yamamoto  1:54'49.606 Kondo Toyota
15. #7 T.Kataoka  DNF LeMans Toyota
16. #41 K.Hiranaka  DNF Dandelion Honda
17. #2 K.Hoshino  DNF Arting Impul Toyota
18. #34 N.Yokomizo  DNF Inging Toyota
19. #33 R.Quintarelli  DNF Inging Toyota
20. #55 T.Kaneishi  DNF Aguri Honda
21. #37 T.Tsuchya DNF Tom's Toyota
22. #56 T.Kogure  DNF Aguri Honda
05/28/06
irl
Five fans injured at Indy 500 Five fans injured at Indy 500Five fans were injured at the Indianapolis 500, none seriously, when debris from a crashed car off Tomas Scheckter flew into the pitside stands Sunday. The most severe injury was an unidentified man who was struck in the head by a flying piece of rear wing, but he walked away with only a bad bump on his head. One other fan also was struck by debris, but walked away. Speedway spokesman Ron Green said three other fans were injured as they tried to avoid the car part that sailed into the stands after Jaques Lazier ran over it following a crash. Green said all five were checked and released from the speedway's hospital, describing the injuries as minor cuts or abrasions.
05/28/06
f1
Schumacher denies trying to ruin Alonso's lap Schumacher denies trying to ruin Alonso's lap"During the race obviously I didn't have time to think about it, and also from a certain point you have to push away these things and prepare for the race," he said in a press conference after the race. "But I have to admit that the disappointment from yesterday is still there, especially when we see what could have been possible today. The harshness of the penalty has left us all shocked."

"I can only apologize that it happened, but it was not my intention. I did not know where Alonso was at this point, I did not have radio contact to say exactly where he was,” he said. “To a certain point I am used to living with criticism, but nobody else but me was sitting inside the car, and without all the information which we had and in terms of what feeling I had in the car you cannot make a proper judgment. But I have to admit that some of it looks quite strange from the outside. But there are reasons for all of this. For those who are thinking I tried to destroy Fernando's lap on purpose, I have to disappoint them.” Michael Schumacher

05/28/06
nascar
Haas to Locate Wind Tunnel Project in Concord, N.C. Haas to Locate Wind Tunnel Project in Concord, N.C.Gene Haas, owner of Haas CNC Racing, announced Sunday that he will locate a new $40 million wind tunnel project in Concord, N.C.

The wind tunnel facility will be constructed on five-acre parcel of land near the Concord Regional Airport beginning in January 2007, and is expected to be completed in early 2008.

The wind tunnel will utilize the Single Belt FlatTrac Rolling Road system to simulate the road beneath a racecar. The wind tunnel will be available for any motorsports team or auto manufacturers to rent. Pete McCole
05/28/06
nascar
Microsoft To Partner With Best Buy Racing Microsoft To Partner With Best Buy RacingMicrosoft announced Sunday they will partner with Best Buy to sponsor the no. 66 Haas CNC Racing Chevrolet driven by Jeff Green in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series race at Dover Int'l Speedway on June 4.

Green's no. 66 Chevy will be sponsored by Mircosoft's new Windows Live OneCare, an automatic and self-updating subscription PC care service for Windows operating systems.

Best Buy will be the featured retailer for the new service, with 24/7 installations available through the retailer's Geek Squad computer service technicians.Pete McCole
05/28/06
nascar
Kellogg’s, Carquest Extend with Hendrick Kellogg’s, Carquest Extend with HendrickKellogg Co. and CARQUEST Auto Parts announced Saturday a unique three-year agreement with Hendrick Motorsports that secures the two companies as co-primary sponsors of the No. 5 Chevrolets driven by Kyle Busch in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series.

The team unveiled the new paint schemes for the no. 5 Chevy Saturday at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The paint scheme will remain the same for the co-primary sponsorship will the sponsor logos being reversed.

Kellogg's has been a primary sponsor with Hendrick Motorsports since 1994 and won the series championship with Terry Labonte in 1996. Pete McCole
05/28/06
f1
I'm still in title fight, says Schu I'm still in title fight, says Schu(GMM) Michael Schumacher's scandalous Monaco weekend has not delivered a knock out blow to his world championship hopes, the German driver said on Sunday.

Shortly after driving from the pit lane to fifth place in the Principality, the 37-year-old denied that Fernando Alonso is now an unbeatable contender for the 2006 drivers' crown.

''There are still many races -- anyone can see that (Alonso) hasn't won it yet and that anything can still happen.

''Anyone who knows me, and anyone who saw today's race, knows that I do not give up,'' Schumacher said.

''If I thought that everything was over then I would be sitting at home doing something else!''

Schumacher, however, admitted that he is still feeling disappointed and 'shocked' about the stewards' penalty, that he said was too harsh.

''I am accustomed to sometimes being criticized,'' he insisted, ''but there are people who see it my way too.

''They are the people who are important to me.

''I have a clear conscience.''

Schumacher was critical of fellow drivers who are rumored to want to expel the seven time world champion as a director of the Grand Prix Drivers' Association.

''Some of them are too cowardly to come to talk to me so they go and talk to the press. That's life. You can't always have just friends.

''But I also feel that many people understand me and support me.''

05/28/06
f1
Heat shield fire puts out Raikkonen and Webber Heat shield fire puts out Raikkonen and WebberKimi Raikkonen's reason for retirement was the same as that of Mark Webber's in his Williams as heat from the exhaust caused the wiring loom to catch fire. Raikkonen took a short walk through the tunnel and joined his friend on his boat in the harbor pretty well aware that his championship chances are now slim at best as he is now 37 points behind the Championship leader.

Kimi Raikkonen - "Things just didn't go my way today. Our strategy would probably have meant that I would have been able to take the lead after the second series of pitstops, but we really lost out when the Safety Car came out. Then there was a small fire caused by a heat shield which damaged a wiring loom and that was the end of the race for me. It's always disappointing to retire both for me and the team, but it's particularly hard when you all know that you are in with a good chance to win. However we have made progress, and the car was really competitive today, and we aim to do well at Silverstone."

05/28/06
f1
Monaco has made Ferrari stronger, says Brawn Monaco has made Ferrari stronger, says Brawn(GMM) Ferrari's nightmare and controversial weekend at Monaco has only made the team stronger, according to Ross Brawn.

Following his downgrading from pole position to the pit lane after a stewards' penalty on Saturday, Michael Schumacher - with the fastest race lap - finished a noteworthy fifth.

''Difficult circumstances only make Ferrari stronger,'' said Briton Brawn, no doubt referring to the wave of critical noise that had engulfed the paddock.

He added: ''What happened this weekend has made us more determined to succeed in the world championship.''

Brawn expressed satisfaction with the Monte Carlo result, even though Schumacher's teammate Felipe Massa failed to emerge from his qualifying crash with a point.

But referring to Schumacher's four points, he said: ''We needed to score something, so that we did not lose touch in the championship.

''Michael had clearly the best car in the race, and in my opinion he was also the best driver,'' Brawn insisted.
05/28/06
f1
F1 boss to take naked Monaco dive F1 boss to take naked Monaco dive(GMM) Christian Horner has vowed to honor his promise to jump naked into Red Bull's motor home pool after David Coulthard recorded the team's maiden podium at Monaco.

The delighted team principal said: ''I stupidly made a throwaway comment .. and it seems that later on, after a few drinks, I might just find myself jumping in there.''

Coulthard wore a 'Superman' cape on the podium.

Horner continued: ''Hopefully this won't be our last one this season.''

Scottish veteran Coulthard's teammate, Christian Klien, was also having a good run until his gearbox failed.

''The car is not reliable at the moment,'' said the Austrian. ''We still have a lot of the problems that we had in the winter.''

Elsewhere in the race, Nico Rosberg compounded Williams' misery, with race contender Mark Webber also exiting the race with a technical glitch.

Although Rosberg appeared to simply crash at Rascasse, the German said his throttle had stuck open.

He said: ''It's more unfortunate for Mark because he was in a good position to score some good points for the team.

''We have to take advantage of these situations.''

Honda's Jenson Button, crossing the line a miserable eleventh, also rued his Monaco racer.

''We lost the rear tires completely,'' said the Briton, ''and (Rubens) Barrichello had the same problem. We fixed it in the pits but we were screwed by then.''

Penalized pole-sitter Michael Schumacher had a notable run from the pit lane to fifth, and former grand prix driver Martin Brundle observed: ''He managed to drive 78 times through Rascasse without trouble ... ''
05/28/06
nascar
Another NASCAR team folds Another NASCAR team foldsThe two-and-a-half year experiment for Florida businessman Don Arnold in Nextel Cup has come to a close. According to a former employee, the #50 Nextel Cup shop shut down last month, and the building at 160 Performance Road in Mooresville the team had occupied is on the market. Employing journeyman drivers Todd Bodine, Derrike Cope, and Jimmy Spencer among others during its short tenure in the Nextel Cup Series, the team last attempted the Daytona 500 with Larry Foyt behind the wheel. Frontstretch
05/28/06
nascar
Seen at Lowe's -I Seen at Lowe's -IJeff Gordon and new girlfriend Ingrid Vandebosch at CARS premiere at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, NC. (Photo Credit: HHP Images/Harold Hinson)
05/28/06
Industry News
New stringent USA diesel standards hard to meet New stringent USA diesel standards hard to meetVolkswagen of America will drop  hot-selling diesel models of several of its most popular cars as the automaker catches up to new USA federal emissions standards that take effect this fall.

VW will drop the diesel versions of its Jetta, Golf and Beetle models for the 2007 model year, which begins this fall. The new U.S. limits for nitrogen oxide emissions are among the most stringent in the world.

VW's diesel sales have boomed in 2006, helping propel the German brand to a 20.4% increase in U.S. sales. Diesels accounted for 22.7% of VW's U.S. sales for the first four months of 2006, nearly twice their traditional 12%, VW spokesman Steve Keyes said.

"They are becoming a significant part of our business, so it's disappointing," Keyes said. "If diesels continue to contribute 20%-22% of our sales, this has some significant impact on us."

VW will offer a diesel version of its Touareg SUV in '07, and the company plans to build extra '06 diesel Jettas, which it hopes to sell well into next year.

A new diesel Jetta that meets emissions standards in all 50 states should be available for the 2008 model year.

05/28/06
nascar
Scenes from Lowe's Saturday Scenes from Lowe's Saturday 

      

    

    
Photos by Rhonda McCole

05/28/06
f1
Mosley: Schu not a cheater, but he did cheat Mosley: Schu not a cheater, but he did cheatFIA President Max Mosley believes Michael Schumacher should not be called a cheater for his incident in qualifying at Monaco Saturday.  "I wouldn't go as far as to say it was cheating," Mosley told Reuters. "You've got to take the thing in its context, in the heat of the moment when you are desperately trying to get on the front row of the grid and you've got a split second to take a decision."

"The stewards have the advantage of having every detail, every piece of information and being able to know on previous laps where he braked, where he steered, accelerated, how quick he was going and so on," he said. "Armed with all that information, they come to a conclusion. It took them several hours, they went into great detail, it's how it should be done. That's sport."

"If you reach the conclusion that someone has done something that they shouldn't do, you've got to react. We've got to try and keep the playing field level. But these situations are always difficult."

05/28/06
f1
Engine manufacturers ready to sign agreement Engine manufacturers ready to sign agreementThe seven F1 engine manufacturers are about to sign an agreement on a common approach to the FIA's spec freeze plans for 2008 and beyond.

The latest meeting on Saturday afternoon produced a consensus that appears to satisfy all the parties, and a proposal will now be presented to the FIA.

"We are wrapping it up and tomorrow we'll have a final look at it", said BMW's Mario Theissen on Saturday evening. "I hope everybody can then sign it. We will then present it to Max, but I'm not sure whether it will happen tomorrow, or early next week.  We have tried very hard to come to a consensus, and I think that's what we have now. It was a serious discussion and everybody was finally prepared to give in somewhere in order to arrive at a position which can be signed by everybody."

05/28/06
nascar
Busch hits parking attendant Busch hits parking attendantA vehicle being driven by Kurt Busch allegedly made contact with a part-time employee of Lowe's Motor Speedway on Friday night at a movie premiere. Busch was arriving for the premiere of the Disney movie "Cars" in the infield of Lowe's. He allegedly made contact with a parking attendant. "Kurt's vehicle allegedly made contact with this person around the knee area," said Jerry Gappens, the senior vice president of events for Lowe's. "He continued working, then later had it checked out and everything was fine." The unnamed employee also was working at the speedway yesterday. No police report had been filed with the Concord police department as of yesterday afternoon. According to Gappens, Busch met with Lowe's President H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler to let him know what had happened. Busch had no comment yesterday. Both NASCAR and Lowe's Motor Speedway have looked into the incident, and both have said they are out of the situation. "All we're aware of is there was an incident at the premiere, and we're not involved in it," NASCAR spokesman Jim Hunter said. "It's not a NASCAR incident. It's not in our jurisdiction. The parties involved in it, we'll leave it to them to resolve it." Gappens said it was the track's opinion it was a non-event, and no further action would be taken by the speedway. Richmond Times Dispatch
05/28/06
f1
Schu to start from pitlane Schu to start from pitlane(GMM)  With a fresh engine fitted to his Ferrari, beleaguered former Monaco pole-sitter Michael Schumacher is to start today's race from the pits.

The stewards' penalty left no right to appeal, so the 37-year-old German is likely to cut his losses and try to recover position with a mighty fuel load.

Changing teammate Felipe Massa's engine similarly did not worsen his grid position following his crash in the first 'knockout' session on Saturday.

Even the sport's biggest scandal since Indianapolis-gate last season, however, has not kept the usual glamour of Monaco under wraps.

'Superman' actors Kevin Spacey and Robin Williams did the rounds in the hours before the green light, while ex-team owner Eddie Jordan was also spotted amongst the bustling commotion.

05/28/06
nascar
Edwards wins after Mears falters Edwards wins after Mears faltersCarl Edwards captured his sixth career NASCAR Busch Series win Saturday night at Lowe's Motor Speedway after taking advantage of Casey Mears’ gamble on fuel. Mears led the field down for the green flag restart on Lap 196, but hesitated just bit due to low fuel pressure as he tried to stretch his supply to the end of the race. It was just enough for Edwards to get by and hold the top spot to the checkered flag. The win was Edwards’ first win since last November at Phoenix. Photo by Getty Images for NASCAR

The race got off to a wild start with 16 of the first 21 laps run under caution due to two incidents involving pre-race favorites. Jamie McMurray took the lead at the start and led the first two circuits until cutting a tire in Turn 4 to bring out the first caution. Soon after Tony Stewart lost a track bar and hit the safer barrier in the exact spot as McMurray. Both drivers were unhurt, but were taken to a local hospital for further evaluation. Both were cleared to race in Sunday's Coca-Cola 600.

Busch Pole winner Matt Kenseth led 83 laps and looked like he had the car to beat until he lost his engine on Lap 137. Several wild spins off Turn 4 kept the crowd on its feet for most of the race. The event was slowed by 10 caution periods. zzzz

Kurt Busch came home second followed closely by a hard-charging J.J.Yeley with Mears - who ran out of gas on pit road on his way back to pits at race's end - hanging on for fourth. Two-time NASCAR Busch Series champion Martin Truex Jr. rounded out the top five finishers.

Jeff Burton wound up in sixth spot with Jimmie Johnson overcoming a lap deficit for a seventh place finish. Kevin Harvick had one of the more dynamic runs of the night, finding himself two laps down to the leader on Lap 72 and battling back to the lead lap 100 laps later. His eighth-place finish is a credit to Harvick and his entire team. NASCAR Busch Series regulars Todd Kluever and Regan Smith came home ninth and tenth respectively.

Harvick still leads the NASCAR Busch Series points by a margin of 348 over Edwards, who climbed to second place this week. Clint Bowyer dropped to third, 439 points out due to late race meeting with the safer barrier. Denny Hamlin is fourth, 450 points behind Harvick and Yeley currently sits fifth in points with a  490 marker deficit.

The NASCAR Busch Series moves to Dover International Raceway for next Saturday's Stonebridgeracing.com 200.

05/28/06
nascar
Stewart OK after Busch race crash Stewart OK after Busch race crashTony Stewart has been cleared to drive in Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C., after crashing in Saturday night's Carquest 300 NASCAR Busch Series race at Lowe's. Stewart, driving for Kevin Harvick Inc., in the Carquest 300, spun in turn four and impacted the SAFER barrier on lap 10 of the 200-lap race. After being transported to the speedway's infield care center, he complained of discomfort in his right shoulder. As a result, NASCAR medical personnel dispatched Stewart to Carolinas Medical Center University for precautionary X-rays. Those X-rays proved negative. True Speed Communication
05/28/06
irl
Race Day at Indy Race Day at IndyThe bomb just went off at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway signifying the 6 AM opening of the track for fans and a vast throng of people are making their way into the Speedway grounds.  There is a 30% chance of showers but right now the skies are clear and the temperatures comfortable.  The temperatures are expected to rise to 87 degrees F with 70% humidity, which will make it feel like 95 degrees.

To the right is the famous Indy Pagoda lit up at 5:30 AM.

05/28/06
f1
Webber defends Schumacher Webber defends Schumacher"I think it's a scandal what has happened," Mark Webber told reporters at Monaco. "In my opinion, it was a driver's mistake in qualifying, and I think this could happen to anybody... For me it's too hard and I cannot understand why the stewards found this decision.

"Michael is not amused. If you know Michael, he's not an emotional man. It takes a little while and he will speak and say something after the race."

"We had something like this in the past already, and we know the enemies, and we know how they react against Michael. I think this time they went too far, it was too much," he said.

"Yesterday there was so much emotion and it was planned by our enemies in the paddock. They don't like him."

05/28/06
gp2
Lapierre hospitalized Lapierre hospitalizedFrench driver Nicolas Lapierre remained hospitalized Saturday night from his spectacular accident in Saturday's GP2 race that saw his car launched into the air. He has back pain and X-Rays will be taken Sunday (today) to see whether he broke anything.
05/28/06
f1
Ferrari blast Schumacher penalty Ferrari blast Schumacher penalty(GMM)  Ferrari dispensed with tradition as it blasted stewards' decision to disqualify Michael Schumacher from qualifying in Monte Carlo.

As is the custom with all teams, the Maranello based squad usually issue a press release at the end of each GP day, featuring driver and staff quotes.

The only belated release on Saturday, however, was one bearing team boss Jean Todt's 'great displeasure' at the turn of events in the stewards room, after Schumacher appeared to deliberately park his car in the middle of Rascasse.

As an odd result, there is no widespread coverage - for example - of Felipe Massa's reaction to his crash at Casino Square.

Referring only to the stewards' Schumacher decision, Frenchman Todt said: ''We totally disagree with it.

''Such a decision creates a very serious precedent, ruling out the possibility of driver error.

'''With no real evidence, the stewards have assumed he is guilty.'

05/28/06
f1
Far and wide, 'cheat' Schu condemned Far and wide, 'cheat' Schu condemned(GMM) Michael Schumacher was condemned far and wide after appearing to deliberately park his Ferrari in the dying moments of qualifying at Monaco.

The most crucial condemnation, however, came from the stewards' office, who deliberated for eight hours after interviewing the German and reviewing mountains of data.

They ruled that Schumacher 'braked with ... undue, excessive and unusual pressure' in La Rascasse, concluding that it was a punishable 'deliberate' act.

Schumacher was effectively disqualified from the entire session and dumped to the rear of the grid, promoting Fernando Alonso to the pole and Mark Webber to the front row.

Compounding Ferrari's misery, Felipe Massa is also on the back of the grid after his Casino crash.

Leading the attack on Schumacher was his old Benetton boss, Flavio Briatore.

He said: ''I know (Schumacher) cheated.''

Sir Jackie Stewart called it a 'blatant' act, while Keke Rosberg said Michael treated the F1 world like 'fools' by suggesting it was a normal driver error.

''This really brings our sport down,'' said the Finn. ''If I was him I would retire in shame.''

Keke's son, Nico, commented: ''He is a director of the 'GPDA' and should be a model of sportsmanship for us.''

Mark Webber, a traditional supporter of Schumacher, likened the act to 'Mike Tyson biting someone's ear off'.

Jacques Villeneuve said the unsporting act was 'as bad as Jerez', where in 1997 Schumacher steered deliberately into the Canadian in a failed attempt to win the title.

JV slammed: ''He should have to give back his Super License if he thinks he can just say it was a mistake.

''Even if (Yuji) Ide had done it, it would be embarrassing.''

Niki Lauda, as a former team boss, said he sympathized with Renault chief Briatore's fury, while Kimi Raikkonen added: ''I don't believe that it was a real problem.

''He should be punished.''

05/28/06
f1
I'll sleep well, says disgraced Schu I'll sleep well, says disgraced Schu(GMM)  F1 was left aghast and exhausted at Monaco on Saturday evening, with journalists using the eight-hour wait for stewards' decision to find near-universal condemnation of Michael Schumacher's qualifying tactics.

But, with the sun long descended and the Ferrari driver preparing to retire to his hotel, Schumacher told a flock of reporters: ''What happened is typical at this circuit.

''I know what I did.  I know not everyone agrees but I will sleep well tonight.''

The 37-year-old tried to explain the dubious moves on his steering wheel, to which stewards ultimately concluded that he had faked in order to thwart the laps of rivals.

Schumacher said: ''I was already having some trouble earlier in the lap.  The car felt more twitchy.''

The basis of some observers' verdict of guilt was that Schumacher was about two tenths slower than he had been on his quickest lap in one sector.  Others, however - like Fernando Alonso - were really flying.

But Michael argued: ''I had the feeling that I could improve.  The last sector is crucial, so I was trying really hard.

''If you are punished for making a mistake, then I don't understand that.''

Schumacher said his engine stalled because it does automatically after a ten second delay.

He suggested that many of those who condemned him as a 'cheater' have been long-standing 'enemies' of his success.

''I am guilty if the crime is driving too fast and making an error.''

05/27/06
Formula BMW
Wickens wins at Lime Rock Wickens wins at Lime RockLakeville, Conn. - Although the grid for Round 3 of the Formula BMW USA championship at Lime Rock Park was set according to the rules and based on the points standings after the cancellation of qualifying, the 25-lap race was anything but textbook. 

Junior driver Robert Wickens (Team Apex Racing USA) scored his first victory of the 2006 season, finishing ahead of a relentless Simona de Silvestro (EuroInternational) after a many-lap battle.  Reed Stevens (HBR Motorsport Team USA) finished third after starting from the outside of the front row. The race ended behind the safety car following the race's second caution period, prematurely ending the most exciting race of the season to-date.  zzzz

After overcast skies gave way to bright sun, 26 starters made a clean standing start. By lap five, it was polesitter Daniel Morad (AIM Autosport), Wickens, from the sixth starting position, and Stevens in the top-three spots. De Silvestro, starting from 10th, passed Stevens on lap seven and set her focus on Wickens. She passed Wickens on lap 10, but slid off course, falling back to sixth, as Morad set the race's fastest lap (53.225 seconds). The race went yellow after contact caused the No. 9 of Yannick Hofman (HBR Motorsport Team USA) to roll in turn 1. He was unhurt and the race went green three laps later. De Silvestro moved up to second on lap 17. One lap later Morad spun coming onto the front straight and Sebastian Saavedra (Gelles Racing), in the move of the race, went to grass and pit-in to avoid him. The race continued with Wickens, de Silvestro and Stevens at the front until the second yellow of the race on lap 22 after Morad went off the track due to a mechanical failure resulting in an exciting race finishing behind the safety car.  Saavedra came to the checkered flag fourth for his best finish of the year. Another notable drive was given by Matt Lee (Team Autotecnica) who finished a season's- best seventh after starting 23rd. 

All Formula BMW USA Juniors scored top-10 finishes. The top finishing Rookies were Saavedra (P4), David Garza (P5), Maxime Pelletier (P8), Robert Thorne (P9) and Jordan Dick (P10).  Wickens said, "My team gave me a great car. I was able to go from sixth to forth on the start. I had a very fast car and I didn't want to crash out of the race. So I was just patient waiting for the right opportunity and when it came I go for it. And the next thing I know I was in the lead and I was able to get quite a bit of a lead. Simona was very fast, I saw her catching me a little bit. I had to pick up the pace again and I was able to keep the gap until the end of the race." He added, "Without the yellow flag at the end, the race would have been even much more exciting. I think that I still would have won the race." 

De Silvestro said, "I had a great car. After a bad start I was on 13th, but I wanted to make points to be able to win the championship at the end of the year. I pushed really hard and was able to come on second. In the last lap before the yellow flag came out, I was very close to Robert. I had a lot of speed, but then the safety car came out and I couldn't pass him. Tomorrow I am going to start from second and I am sure I can make it on the podium again." 

Stevens said, "I had a really good start and I pushed as hard as I could in the beginning. Unfortunately, the other drivers were pretty quick. The car was not quite as good as I like to have it but, considering that it was completely crashed in the morning and we just put it together, to come on third is not bad. I just focused on driving cleanly and as consistently as possible and I was able to finish pretty well." 

Round 4 of the 2006 Formula BMW USA championship is scheduled to start at 1:15 p.m. Monday, May 29. 

Round 3 - Results (25 laps)

1 Robert Wickens Team Apex Racing USA 28:00.539
2 Simona de Silvestro EuroInternational 28:01.274
3 Reed Stevens HBR Motorsport Team USA 28:01.832
4 Sebastian Saavedra (R) Gelles Racing 28:02.230
5 David Garza (R) EuroInternational 28:02.406
6 Race Johnson HBR Motorsport Team USA 28:03.277
7 Matt Lee Team Autotecnica 28:04.285
8 Maxime Pelletier (R) Gelles Racing 28:05.496
9 Robert Thorne (R) Team Autotecnica 28:06.142
10 Jordan Dick (R) Team Apex Racing USA 28:06.913
11 Scott Schroeder American Spirit Grand Prix 28:07.621
12 Ryan Phinny Hearn Motorsports 28:08.538
13 Ryan Campbell Gelles Racing 28:09.616
14 Doug Boyer AIM Autosport 28:10.700
15 Steven Guerrero (R) HBR Motorsport Team USA 28:12.083
16 John Zartarian Gelles Racing 28:13.199
17 David Farias (R) Jensen Motorsport 28:14.081
18 Adrien Herberts Gelles Racing 28:16.078
19 Philip Major Atlantic Racing Team 28:16.892
20 Frankie Muniz Jensen Motorsport 28:18.140
21 Marco Santos Haberfeld & Walker Racing 28:19.044
22 Joel Jackson (R) Gelles Racing 28:19.708
23 David Rangel Haberfeld & Walker Racing 28:20.655
24 Daniel Morad (R) AIM Autosport 21 laps
25 Yannick Hofman HBR Motorsport Team USA 11 laps
26 Jules Duc Hearn Motorsports disqualified*

* per Race Director for unjustifiable risk (IMSA Code 5.7)

Championship points after 3 of 14 races:

1. Robert Wickens (Team Apex Racing USA, 35), 2. Reed Stevens (HBR Motorsport Team USA, 32), 3. Simona de Silvestro (EuroInternational, 25), 4. David Garza (EuroInternational, 25), 5. Daniel Morad (AIM Autosport, 20), 6. Sebastian Saavedra (Gelles Racing, 20), 7. John Zartarian (Gelles Racing, 18), 8. Adrien Herberts (Gelles Racing, 16), 9. Race Johnson (HBR Motorsport Team USA, 16), 10. Ryan Campbell (Gelles Racing, 10), 11. Doug Boyer (AIM Autosport, 8), 12. Scott Schroeder (American Spirit Grand Prix, 6), 13. Matt Lee (Autotecnica, 5), 14. Maxime Pelletier (Gelles Racing, 4), 15. Robert Thorne (Team Autotecnica, 4), 16. Jordan Dick (Team Apex Racing USA, 2), 17. Ryan Phinny (Hearn Motorsports, 0), 18. Jules Duc (Hearn Motorsports, 0), 19. Yannick Hofman (HBR Motorsport Team USA, 0), 20. Marco Santos (Haberfeld & Walker Racing, 0), 21. Steven Guerrero (HBR Motorsport Team USA, 0), 22. David Rangel (Haberfeld & Walker Racing, 0), 23. David Farias (Jensen Motorsport, 0), 24. Philip Major (Atlantic Racing Team, 0), 25. Frankie Muniz (Jensen Motorsport, 0), 26. Joel Jackson (Gelles Racing, 0)

Rookies: 1. Sebastian Saavedra (50), 2. David Garza (47), 3. Daniel Morad (31), 4. Maxime Pelletier (30), 5. Robert Thorne (30), 6. Jordan Dick (22), 7. Steven Guerrero (14), 8. Joel Jackson (10)

05/27/06
irl
Papis to be a father, Emmo a grandfather Papis to be a father, Emmo a grandfatherWe ran into Max Papis and his wife Tatiana in the garage area today at Indy. The happy couple are expecting their first child, a son, at the end of July. Max and Tatiana plan to name him Marco.  Tatiana is the daughter of Emerson Fittipaldi, so this means Emmo will become a grandfather.

We asked Max how he likes his chances on Sunday. "Our Cheever Racing car is running good," said Papis. "Look for us to move forward in the race." Mark C.

05/27/06
f1
Schumacher stripped of pole position Schumacher stripped of pole positionMichael Schumacher has been stripped of pole position for the Monaco Grand Prix and will have to start from the back of the grid in Sunday's race. The Ferrari driver controversially beat Renault's Fernando Alonso to pole position in qualifying on Saturday. But stewards said that he had deliberately stopped his car on the track after spinning, stopping rivals from setting a faster time. Alonso will now start on pole ahead of Australian Mark Webber in a Williams.

Steward's statement:

Having set a fast time in sector one, the driver lost time in sector two, arrived at turn 18 [Rascasse] at a speed little if any different from his previous fastest lap, and braked with such force that his front wheels locked up, requiring the driver to regain control of the car.  The driver ultimately did so without hitting the barrier on the outside of turn 18.

The engine of the car subsequently stalled, with the result that the car partially blocked the track.

Having compared all relevant data, the stewards can find no justifiable reason for the driver to have braked with such undue, excessive and unusual pressure at this part of the circuit, and are therefore left with no alternative but to conclude that the driver deliberately stopped his car on the circuit in the last few minutes of qualifying, at a time at which he had thus far set the fastest lap time.

The stewards accordingly directed that the qualifying times of Michael Schumacher be deleted.

The stewards said Schumacher’s actions breached Article 112 of F1’s sporting regulations and that therefore their ruling was final and would not be subject to appeal.

"Article 112 enables the stewards to delete any number of a driver's qualifying times for a driving infringement, which decision is not susceptible to appeal," they said.

Renault chief Flavio Briatore was furious. "It is a disgrace," he said. "But this is Monaco and this is Ferrari.

"Did he cheat? What do you think? Yes."

Former world champions Sir Jackie Stewart and Keke Rosberg lined up to condemn Schumacher and were joined by McLaren's Martin Whitmarsh.

Rosberg was the most outspoken calling Schumacher "a cheap cheat" and adding "he should leave F1 to honest people. I thought he had grown up. Does he think we are all fools and idiots?"

Stewart added: "When I saw it I said that it wasn't an accident or a mechanical failure. I have to believe it was a very agile mental management job. In some sports you do things to take advantage. Today it was an unfair advantage. I am sure he knew Alonso was on a fast lap. It reflects on him and Ferrari.

Whitmarsh said precisely:" It is a sad day for F1 and the sport. Michael Schumacher must have known that his times were down."

In a statement from the Ferrari team after the news was handed down, team boss Jean Todt defends his driver’s actions and voices the Italian team’s displeasure at the ruling…

“Ferrari notes with great displeasure the decision of the race stewards, which is to delete the times set by Michael Schumacher in qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix,” said Jean Todt. “We totally disagree with it. Such a decision creates a very serious precedent, ruling out the possibility of driver error. Michael was on his final timed lap and he was trying to put his first place beyond doubt, as could be seen from the fact that his first split time was the best and could have seen him do another very good lap. With no real evidence, the stewards have assumed he is guilty.”

The verdict means that Ferrari will now have both cars at the back of the grid after Schumacher's Brazilian teammate Felipe Massa crashed out in the first part of qualifying.

Revised Grid

1. Fernando Alonso (Sp) Renault
2. Mark Webber (Aus) Williams-Cosworth
3. Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) McLaren
4. Juan Pablo Montoya (Col) McLaren
5. Rubens Barrichello (Bra) Honda
6. Jarno Trulli (Ita) Toyota
7. David Coulthard (GB) RedBull - Ferrari
8. Nico Rosberg (Ger) Williams - Cosworth
9. Giancarlo Fisichella (Ita) Renault
10. Ralf Schumacher (Ger) Toyota
11. Christian Klien (Aut) RedBull - Ferrari
12. Vitantonio Liuzzi (Ita) Toro Rosso - Cosworth
13. Jenson Button (GB) Honda
14. Jacques Villeneuve (Can) BMW Sauber
15. Nick Heidfeld (Ger) BMW Sauber
16. Christijan Albers (Ned) MF1 - Toyota
17. Tiago Monteiro (Por) MF1 - Toyota
18. Scott Speed (US) Toro Rosso - Cosworth
19. Takuma Sato (Jpn) Super Aguri - Honda
20. Franck Montagny (Fra) Super Aguri - Honda
21. Felipe Massa (Bra) Ferrari
22. Michael Schumacher (Ger) Ferrari

05/27/06
irl
Drivers' meeting sets stage for 90th 500 Drivers' meeting sets stage for 90th 500INDIANAPOLIS - Drivers participating in the 90th Indianapolis 500-Mile Race received final instructions and awards May 27 in the Public Drivers' Meeting, the final activity at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway before the race May 28.

The 90th Indianapolis 500 is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. (ET) Sunday. The race will be broadcast live on ABC Sports, the IMS Radio Network, XM Satellite Radio channel 145 (IndyCar Racing) and indycar.com, with pre-race shows beginning at noon.

2005 Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon and Andretti Green Racing co-owners Michael Andretti, Kim Green and Kevin Savoree each accepted a "Baby Borg" trophy from Cindy Niekamp, Borg Warner president of Torque Transfer Systems, for being the winning driver and team owners at the 2005 Indianapolis 500.

The Baby Borg is a miniature replica of the famed Borg-Warner Trophy, which bears the bas-relief likeness, name and average speed of every Indianapolis 500 winner.

Andretti, Green and Savoree also received winning team owners' rings from Mark Emkes, chief executive officer of Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire. zzzz

Paul Mills, vice president of the board of directors, Milk Promotion Services of Indiana, presented a plaque with an American Dairy Association milk bottle to Wheldon for his victory last year.

Sam Hornish Jr. accepted the 2006 WorldPoints Visa Card Pole Award from Brad Emmi, vice president of Bank of America. Hornish won the WorldPoints Visa Card Pole on May 20 with a four lap average of 228.985 mph in his No. 6 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Honda/Firestone.

John Weber, president and chief executive officer of Remy International, presented the starter's rings to all 33 drivers who qualified for this year's race.

Hornish then presented Weber a special plaque, signed by all 33 drivers, on behalf of the starting field.

Indianapolis 500-winning team owner Andy Granatelli presented Brickyard Crossing Golf Resort and Inn General Manager Kelly Bailey with the Unsung Hero Award.

Brian Barnhart, president and chief operating officer for the Indy Racing League, concluded the driver's meeting by discussing race rules and guidelines with the drivers.

05/27/06
irl
Indy 500 tickets on sale Indy 500 tickets on saleTickets for the 90th Indianapolis 500 remain available Race Morning. Fans wanting to attend the race need to go to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Ticket Office at the corner of 16th Street and Georgetown Road or at one of the three satellite ticket offices, located at Gates 3, 6, and 9. Tickets start at $20 for general admission and $40 for reserved seats. All ticket offices will open at 6 a.m. and remain open until 1 p.m.
05/27/06
f1
Stewards investigate Fisi, too Stewards investigate Fisi, tooUPDATE (GMM) Monaco stewards have penalized Giancarlo Fisichella (Renault) for blocking David Coulthard (Red Bull) during qualifying on Saturday.

The Roman has been docked his three quickest laps of the session, and will thus start Sunday's grand prix from tenth on the grid.

Four hours after the contentious incident involving Michael Schumacher, meanwhile - 7.30pm local time - a decision is still pending.

Jacques Villeneuve, who in 1997 won his title after another dubious incident involving Schumacher, made his feelings about the issue clear.

He said: ''You cannot be a seven time world champion, a representative of his sport, and then be involved in something like this.''

05/27/06 (GMM)  As well as investigating the Schumacher incident, stewards at Monaco also interviewed Renault's Giancarlo Fisichella after qualifying for allegedly blocking the Red Bull of David Coulthard.

''I'm really pissed off,'' the Scot, Coulthard, told the press.

''I've had no traffic all weekend and then, on my last flying lap, I got held up.''

The stewards' official verdicts are expected shortly, but - whatever the outcome - many in pitlane have already made their own minds up about the Schumacher faux-pas, after watching on-board replays.

McLaren's 'F1 CEO' relayed Kimi Raikkonen's joking comments in an interview with Speed TV.

''(Kimi) said Michael should have used his right hand and covered the camera while he did it.''

05/27/06
f1
Monaco: Saturday Press Conference Monaco: Saturday Press ConferenceDRIVERS:
1. Michael SCHUMACHER (Ferrari), 1m13.898s
2. Fernando ALONSO (Renault), 1m13.962s
3. Mark WEBBER (Williams), 1m14.082s Transcript
05/27/06
f1
McLaren questions Schumacher's antics McLaren questions Schumacher's anticsMcLaren's Martin Whitmarsh says the team is highly suspicious of Michael Schumacher's stall that resulted in a yellow flag that ruined the end of qualifying for his rivals.

The incident left rival teams and drivers fuming after they were unable to complete their final laps at full speed. Schumacher was called to see the stewards after the session.

"His time was down and one can speculate that he asked on the radio where is everybody?," said Whitmarsh. "We don't know what happened. It certainly looked very odd to us.

"The on-board footage shows the guy going into the corner without apparently losing it, turn away from the corner, give it a bit of a wiggle, stop, and even still allowing himself the ability to turn round the corner, and stall. It was an extraordinary turn of events for such a great driver to have done.

We don't have all of the data, obviously. One can have a cynical view, but the only information we have is what we saw with our own eyes. It looked extraordinary. Maybe there's an extraordinary series of explanations to account for what happened in the first place, why he didn't lose it so bad to damage the car, and why he managed to stall it. All those things look very extraordinary."

Whitmarsh says that Kimi Raikkonen was at least able to see the funny side.

"The best comment I heard was from Kimi. He said Michael should have used his right hand and covered the camera while he did it."

05/27/06
f1
Monaco GP Stewards slam Fisi Monaco GP Stewards slam FisiRenault’s Giancarlo Fisichella has had his three fastest times from Monaco qualifying deleted after stewards decided he had impeded Red Bull driver David Coulthard during a flying lap. Fisichella had qualified in fifth place, with Coulthard four places behind in ninth. The Italian’s penalty is likely to drop him to tenth on the grid, which will be published by the FIA on Sunday morning, with Coulthard, Juan Pablo Montoya, Rubens Barrichello and Jarno Trulli all set to gain a place. The stewards accepted that Fisichella’s actions may not have been deliberate, but with overtaking so difficult in Monaco, the penalty nevertheless deals a severe blow to his hopes of victory in Sunday’s race.
05/27/06
gp2
Lewis Hamilton wins again Lewis Hamilton wins againLewis Hamilton dominated today's race in Monaco with a lights to flag victory, which pushed the Englishman to a clear championship lead and sent the strongest possible warning to his rivals of his strong title ambitions. Hamilton was never headed during the race, including his pitstop, and collected his trophy on the famous ACM steps ahead of Franck Perera and Alex Premat before spraying the champagne over his ecstatic mechanics.

As the lights went out at the start of the race Hamilton powered off the line ahead of fellow front row starter Perera and started to walk away. Behind the pair Olivier Pla powered by Gimmi Bruni into St. Devote, with teammate Clivio Piccione right on his tail.

But behind them there was chaos, as Tristan Gommendy ran over the rear wheel of Jose Maria Lopez and was airborne, coming down against the wall and ricocheting into countryman Nicolas Lapierre, who was pitched into a wild flight before landing with a thump on top of Lucas di Grassi's rear wing. zzzz

Meanwhile Javier Villa was smashed out of the race by the pinballing Lopez, with championship leader Nelson Piquet also losing his rear wing in the process. Adam Carroll was also in the wars: his power was off and on and then finally off for good as he rolled to a halt in Casino Square.

Incredibly there was no safety car: tremendous work by the marshals removed all traces of the damaged cars before Hamilton was back around to start his second lap, with Piquet limping back to the pits for repairs just behind Bruni's clearly terminal car.

Hamilton was soon setting a string of fast laps to build up a gap over Perera, who no longer had to worry about Pla after the latter ran into the wall out of the swimming pool complex after bouncing off the inside curb.

Giorgio Pantano was in for an early stop, hoping for a bonus if there was any further incidents to come, while di Grassi also found his way into the pits for his inevitable replacement wing. Pantano was doing everything he had to do, setting a string of fastest laps in clean air and putting himself into contention for a good points haul.

The order at the front was now Hamilton from Perera, Piccione, Premat and a fast starting Andreas Zuber, and so it stayed until lap eight, when Premat was the first of the frontrunners to pit, coming out just ahead of Pantano in eleventh position.

Perera, who had stated after qualifying that no one else had the pace of he and Hamilton around this circuit, was being proved right: the pair were leaving everyone else behind, with the Englishman pulling out a slightly larger lead over his French rival on every lap as the pair left everyone else behind.

Pantano's hard work all came to nothing though when he stopped at St. Devote on lap 12, while just ahead of him Premat was on a charge: he muscled his way past Hiroki Yoshimoto at the Mirabeau, and then powered past Sergio Hernandez a few turns later at Nouvelle Chicane as he looked to eat into Perera's advantage.

It wasn't enough, and Perera was in and out of the pits one lap later, dropping to sixth in the process and promoting local driver Piccione to second.

Piccione was in on lap 15, but the one that counted was just one lap later when race leader Hamilton came in for his stop. His team were a blur of activity around him as Perera did everything he could to catch up.

The gap between the pair was ten seconds as Perera came in, and in just three laps he ate seven seconds out of Hamilton's time, but the Englishman re-emerged just in front of second placed Zuber and the challenge was effectively over.

Zuber was in two laps later and the order at the front had effectively shaken out: Hamilton led from Perera, Premat, Piccione (who had struggled with a slow stop), Glock and Zuber.

Behind them Yoshimoto, the only man yet to make his stop, was at the front of a train of cars covering seventh to eleventh, the five cars covered by just two seconds. At the back of them was a very fast looking Ferdinando Monfardini, who was throwing everything he had at Michael Ammermüller in front of him.

For lap after lap the Italian looked for a way past the German, and for lap after lap the defense held firm. On lap 23 frustration clearly got the better of him and Monfardini outbraked himself into the chicane, running straight across and collecting Ernesto Viso's front wing as he did so.

Monfardini and Viso were inevitably straight into the pits, followed by Yoshimoto, who had stopped at the Rascasse corner before restarting his car and limping across the track and into retirement.

Further back di Grassi and Piquet were on track, three laps down and pushing for the fastest lap, with the former claiming the honor for four laps consecutively after stopping for fresh tires. Piquet eventually came in for new tires too but, despite setting the fastest first sector a number of times, claiming the point for fastest lap was just beyond him.

With Timo Glock coming to a stop on the front straight, restarting and then stopping for good at the entrance to the tunnel on lap 36 the field was now down to just twelve drivers, but as the laps rolled down there was nothing anyone of them could do about their closest rivals on the tight, twisty street circuit.

And therefore Hamilton was the first man to be greeted by the chequered flag, finishing eight seconds ahead of a delighted Perera, who had taken his first points along with his podium finish, while Premat was third, more than half a minute behind his teammate.

Piccione had to make do with fourth for his home race, with Zuber the last driver on the lead lap in fifth. Behind him Felix Porteiro led home Ammermüller and Hernandez, whose teammate di Grassi had done enough to claim the fastest lap of a race of attrition in Monaco.

1. Lewis Hamilton ART 1hr 03mins 50.768s 45 laps
2. Franck Perera DAMS +8.445s
3. Alexandre Premat ART +36.312s
4 Clivio Piccione DPR Direxiv +37.255s
5 Andreas Zuber Trident +85.610s
6. Felix Porteiro Campos +1 lap
7. Michael Ammermuller Arden +1 lap
8 Sergio Hernandez Durango +1 lap

9. Ferdinando Monfardini DAMS +2 laps
10 Fairuz Fauzy Super Nova +2 laps
11. Lucas di Grassi Durango +3 laps
12. Nelson Piquet Jr Piquet +5 laps

Rtd. Adrian Valles Campos 39 laps completed
Rtd. Timo Glock BCN 36 laps completed
Rtd Jose Maria Lopez Super Nova 36 laps completed
Rtd Hiroki Yoshimoto BCN 23 laps completed
Rtd. Ernesto Viso iSport 23 laps completed
Rtd. Jason Tahinci FMS 12 laps completed
Rtd. Giorgio Pantano FMS 11 laps completed
Rtd. Olivier Pla DPR Direxiv 2 laps completed
Rtd Gianmaria Bruni Trident 0 laps completed
Rtd. Adam Carroll Racing Engineering 0 laps completed
Rtd. Javier Villa Racing Engineering 0 laps completed
Rtd. Tristan Gommendy iSport 0 laps completed
Rtd Nicolas Lapierre Arden 0 laps completed
Rtd. Alexandre Negrao Piquet 0 laps completed

05/27/06
irl
Indy 500 rookie quotes Indy 500 rookie quotesThis year's Indy 500 Rookie of Year candidates (Marco Andretti, PJ Chesson, Townsend Bell, Arie Luyendyk Jr. and Thiago Medeiros) met the press today at Indianapolis. Here is a transcript of the press conference.
05/27/06
nascar
Waltrip Buys Ride for Coca-Cola 600 Waltrip Buys Ride for Coca-Cola 600After failing to qualify for Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway, Michael Waltrip has bought his way into the field.

Waltrip has purchased Derrike Cope's no. 74 entry, which claimed the 43rd and final spot in the field for Sunday's 400 lap race, putting Waltrip in the field.

The car will sport Waltrip's no. 55 as well as NAPA decals - Waltrip's primary sponsor.

Waltrip's failure to qualify would have marked the first time a Waltrip didn't make the field for a NASCAR race since 1975. The last time Michael Waltrip failed to make the field was October of 1998 at Phoenix. Pete McCole
05/27/06
f1
Alonso told to say nothing Alonso told to say nothing(GMM) The expression on his face told a different story, but Fernando Alonso refused to directly criticize Michael Schumacher for suspiciously ruining his shot at pole in Monaco.

Reportedly, the Spaniard was told by a Renault PR representative to 'say nothing' to the press for now about the Ferrari driver's actions, although team members were in full flight.

Flavio Briatore fumed openly, while Pat Symonds - Schumacher's old Benetton engineer - called it a 'suspicious mistake'.

Engine chief Denis Chevrier referred to Schumacher's 'very dubious' incident.

''(It) looked as if it had come from a novice driver, not a world champion,'' Symonds added.

24-year-old Alonso, however, awkwardly mumbled: ''I have an opinion and you have an opinion. Let's wait.''

Pressed for his opinion, he added: ''My opinion is my opinion.''

05/27/06
f1
Schu's guilty, says Wurz Schu's guilty, says Wurz(GMM)  Williams' test driver Alex Wurz thinks Michael Schumacher deliberately beached his Ferrari in the middle of Rascasse corner in order to secure his Monte Carlo pole.

Echoing the now-widespread view in the paddock and media centre, the veteran Austrian said: ''Honestly, it seemed to me that he did it intentionally.''

32-year-old Wurz, who once famously went wheel-to-wheel with seven time world champion Schumacher at Monaco, even offered some advice for stewards when speaking to German 'Premiere' TV.

He said: ''If I was the FIA I would to go Ferrari and find out whether (Schumacher) received a radio message (about the move).

''I don't find strategies like that acceptable.''

05/27/06
irl
cc
George: We’re still talking George: We’re still talkingUPDATE "Open-wheel racing has been a dysfunctional business over the last decade, but there has been a positive exchange of ideas," George said. "There are still some significant differences, but it is important that we keep the process moving."

05/26/06 Friday afternoon at Indianapolis Motor Speedway Tony George spoke to a few of us reporters about the unification talks with Champ Car. While indicating that a unification would be a good thing for the sport of open wheel racing, he reiterated that there is still a lot of work to do.

"I think the primary benefit to a unification would be to get rid of the fan confusion by having two separate series. By merging there would be more opportunity for promotion and to bring the best venues from both series together," said George. "We would like to provide an opportunity for anyone [teams] who wants to participate to do so. I'm sure some may choose not to but that's their choice of course."

With that said however, George did not give any indication that the talks are close to leading to a deal to merge, and in fact the new venues that the IRL and Champ Car are negotiating with could make things a bit tricky.

""It would be disingenuous to lead you to believe something could happen as soon as next year," he continued, "There are a lot of details to be worked. For 2007, we both have agreements in place. Maybe we'll decide to keep talking for the next two or three years."

However George indicated that venue and equipment deals are just details that won't stand in the way of a possible merger. Although he did not specifically say, he seemed to indicate that there are higher level philosophical agreements as to how the sport should operate that must be agreed to, and if these can be overcome the details will all be worked out.

As for being influenced by what team owners or others are saying that there must be a merger, George reiterated that "We cannot just merge for the wrong reasons. I said a long time ago that this was going to take time. It is my job to listen to what our teams say, but at the end of the day I have to make the decisions to do what is right for the sport." Mark C. reporting from Indianapolis

05/27/06
f1
Crash eliminates Massa Crash eliminates MassaFelipe Massa was the first driver to be eliminated in this afternoon's qualifying session in Monaco. During the first heat, the Brazilian caused a red flag situation as he crashed his Ferrari in Casino Square. As expected, there was a lot of traffic during the first heat of the qualifying session as 22 cars had to try and set a fast lap on the shortest track of the season. Tiago Monteiro, Franck Montagny, Takuma Sato, Scott Speed and Christijan Albers were just like Massa eliminated in the first heat.
05/27/06
f1
Vodafone pays $410 million in 2nd round of Telsim settlement Vodafone pays $410 million in 2nd round of Telsim settlementMotorola Inc. said Thursday that it has received another $410 million from a settlement over the collapse of a Turkish phone company that bilked Motorola out of $2 billion.

As part of the same settlement, Schaumburg, Illinois-based Motorola earlier received $500 million from Turkish regulators who had seized Telsim, Turkey's second-biggest wireless carrier. In the late 1990s, Motorola, which makes phone equipment, loaned Telsim $2 billion to build a wireless network.

The $410 million Motorola got Thursday comes from Vodafone (a Ferrari team sponsor), which recently closed on its $4.55 billion acquisition of Telsim. Motorola was entitled to 20 percent of Telsim sale proceeds over $2.5 billion, as stipulated in a settlement reached in October.

The $910 million Motorola has recouped from Telsim is considerably more than some analysts expected the firm would get. ChicagoTribune
05/27/06
f1
Renault F1 team condolences to Michelin Renault F1 team condolences to MichelinThe Renault F1 Team last night learned with great sadness of the death of Edouard Michelin. The team wishes to express its sincerest condolences to his family, friends and colleagues in this difficult time.

Renault F1 Team President Alain Dassas commented….

"The links between Michelin and Renault are strong and long-standing, and we are deeply saddened to learn of the tragic death of Edouard Michelin. His dynamic, modern style of leadership set an example for French business throughout the world as he drove his company to global competitiveness. He will be greatly missed."

Renault F1 Team Managing Director Flavio Briatore continued…

"Our memories of Edouard Michelin are of a fantastic competitor. He was always extremely supportive of the team, and delighted by last year's world championship victory." Renault

05/27/06
alms
Milner rounds out Panoz lineup Milner rounds out Panoz lineupYoung American star Tom Milner has been selected by Multimatic Motorsports Team Panoz to complete its driver lineup for next month's 24 Hours of Le Mans, joining Scott Maxwell and Gunnar Jeannette aboard the team's Panoz Esperante GTLM.

Milner made his American Le Mans Series debut with the team at Sebring this year and now is headed to France for his first assault on the annual round-the-clock classic.

The trio will form a formidable partnership at Le Mans. Maxwell was victorious in the LMP675 class in 2000 during his Le Mans debut - earning Multimatic the honor of being the only Canadian team to ever win a class at the event.

The No. 50 Le Mans entry will also feature the return of the BBS Wheels logo to the side of the Panoz Esperante GTLM. Multimatic Motorsports Team Panoz has signed a new deal with BBS, continuing the long-standing technical partnership between Multimatic, Panoz and the German wheel manufacturer.

"Multimatic, Panoz and BBS have won a lot of races together in the past, they have an outstanding product, and we are very pleased to have secured them as a technical partner for our team," Holt said.

05/27/06
f1
Red Bull team unveils new livery Red Bull team unveils new liveryOn Friday in Monaco the Red Bull team unveiled the Superman movie livery they are touting.

 

05/27/06
f1
Ferrari back in the hunt, says Brawn Ferrari back in the hunt, says Brawn(GMM) Ross Brawn says Ferrari has overcome its tire problems in time to challenge Renault at Monaco.

Michael Schumacher came within a couple of tenths of Fernando Alonso's Michelin-shod pace on Saturday morning, fuelling renewed optimism that the Monte Carlo race could be closer than had appeared on Thursday.

''We were pretty anxious on Thursday,'' Brawn said, ''but (the Bridgestone tires are) no longer a problem today.

''We have made some changes to the setup and are well prepared for qualifying.

''It looks rather close,'' he said of the contest for pole position at 2pm.

Brawn concluded: ''It will very much depend on finding a clear lap.''

05/27/06
f1
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Briatore mocks rival Honda
Red Bull say no to driver hints
Edouard Michelin, 43, drowns
Police nab speedy Frentzen again
Schu finds an upbeat mood
Michelin could be caught in Monaco
Villeneuve wants that winning feeling
Schu questions Red Bull 'focus'
05/27/06
nascar
Sadler injured but OK Sadler injured but OKElliott Sadler, driver of the #38 Ford in the Nextel Cup Series, sustained only minor injuries on Friday evening after a fall from a stage in Uptown Charlotte during the taping of the television program “Trackside Live” broadcast on The Speed Channel. After rain showers earlier in the evening, Sadler slipped from the outdoor stage due to the wet surface bruising his left thigh. He sustained no other injuries as previously reported. Sadler was seen by an onsite medical team and left under his own power. He will compete in the scheduled NASCAR Busch Series and NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series events this weekend at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Elevation Group PR
05/27/06
f1
gp2
Dennis assures Hamilton of F1 future Dennis assures Hamilton of F1 futureMcLaren team boss Ron Dennis has told British driver Lewis Hamilton he will get a chance in Formula One.  Hamilton, who has been funded by McLaren for a decade, is the European Formula Three champion and lies second in this season's GP2 series.

"He will be in Formula One, there's no question of that," said Dennis.

"Many people ask if there is a possibility of him driving for McLaren next season. Well, it's not impossible but it's just one of the options."

"We've mapped out his year, he's going to concentrate on GP2 and we're not going to get distracted from that," Dennis said.

"As and when I feel it is appropriate, we'll give him the opportunity to test and really settle in to driving a Formula One car.

"Then, according to how that works out, we'll decide together the next best step." BBC Sport

05/27/06
Formula Nippon
Motegi: Honda tops Formula Nippon qualifying Motegi: Honda tops Formula Nippon qualifying
Qualifying 1 and 2 Combined Results

Pos. Driver Best Laptime Team Engine
1. #56 T.Kogure  1:35:971 Aguri Honda
2. #1 S.Motoyama  1:35:980 Arting Impul  Toyota
3. #3 S.Yamamoto  1:35:985 Kondo Toyota
4. #55 T.Kaneishi  1:36:158 Aguri Honda
5. #40 B.Wirdheim 1:36:161 Dandelion Honda
6. #33 R.Quintarelli  1:36:200 Inging Toyota
7. #7 T.Kataoka  1:36:243 LeMans Toyota
8. #11 Y.Tachikawa  1:36:354 Cerumo Toyota
9. #4 M.Yanagida 1:36:381 Kondo Toyota
10. #41 K.Hiranaka  1:36:468 Dandelion Honda
11. #37 T.Tsuchya 1:36:517 Tom's Toyota
12. #20 T.Matsuda 1:36:586 Impul Toyota
13. #32 H.Muto  1:36:697 Nakajima Honda
14. #5 A.Michigami  1:37:016 5zigen Honda
15. #8 T.Takagi  1:37:325 LeMans Toyota
16. #36 A.Lotterer  1:37:356 Tom's Toyota
17. #34 N.Yokomizo  1:37:447 Inging Toyota
18. #2 K.Hoshino  1:37:499 Arting Impul Toyota
19. #27 S.Mitsuyama  1:38:504 Direxiv Honda
20. #19 B.Treluyer 1:41:041 Impul Toyota
21. #31 L.Duval  1:45:748 Nakajima Honda
22. #6 R.Orime  1:49:683 5zigen Honda  zzzz

Qualifying 2

Pos. Driver Best Laptime Team Engine
1. #19 B.Treluyer 1:45:695 Impul Toyota
2. #31 L.Duval  1:45:748 Nakajima Honda
3. #33 R.Quintarelli  1:46:163 Inging Toyota
4. #7 T.Kataoka  1:46:580 LeMans Toyota
5. #55 T.Kaneishi  1:47:878 Aguri Honda
6. #8 T.Takagi  1:48:061 LeMans Toyota
7. #1 S.Motoyama  1:48:314 Arting Impul  Toyota
8. #20 T.Matsuda 1:48:550 Impul Toyota
9. #4 M.Yanagida 1:49:208 Kondo Toyota
10. #36 A.Lotterer  1:49:665 Tom's Toyota
11. #11 Y.Tachikawa  1:49:959 Cerumo Toyota
12. #3 S.Yamamoto  1:50:908 Kondo Toyota
13. #34 N.Yokomizo  1:51:119 Inging Toyota
14. #5 A.Michigami  1:51:133 5zigen Honda
15. #32 H.Muto  1:51:732 Nakajima Honda
16. #41 K.Hiranaka  1:51:976 Dandelion Honda
17. #56 T.Kogure  1:51:986 Aguri Honda
18. #40 B.Wirdheim 1:52:265 Dandelion Honda
19. #2 K.Hoshino  1:52:273 Arting Impul Toyota
20. #27 S.Mitsuyama  1:52:359 Direxiv Honda
21. #6 R.Orime  1:53:084 5zigen Honda
22. #37 T.Tsuchya 2:11:554 Tom's Toyota

Qualifying 1

Pos. Driver Best Laptime Team Engine
1. #56 T.Kogure  1:35:971 Aguri Honda
2. #1 S.Motoyama  1:35:980 Arting Impul  Toyota
3. #3 S.Yamamoto  1:35:985 Kondo Toyota
4. #55 T.Kaneishi  1:36:158 Aguri Honda
5. #40 B.Wirdheim 1:36:161 Dandelion Honda
6. #33 R.Quintarelli  1:36:200 Inging Toyota
7. #7 T.Kataoka  1:36:243 LeMans Toyota
8. #11 Y.Tachikawa  1:36:354 Cerumo Toyota
9. #4 M.Yanagida 1:36:381 Kondo Toyota
10. #41 K.Hiranaka  1:36:468 Dandelion Honda
11. #37 T.Tsuchya 1:36:517 Tom's Toyota
12. #20 T.Matsuda 1:36:586 Impul Toyota
13. #32 H.Muto  1:36:697 Nakajima Honda
14. #5 A.Michigami  1:37:016 5zigen Honda
15. #8 T.Takagi  1:37:325 LeMans Toyota
16. #36 A.Lotterer  1:37:356 Tom's Toyota
17. #34 N.Yokomizo  1:37:447 Inging Toyota
18. #2 K.Hoshino  1:37:499 Arting Impul Toyota
19. #27 S.Mitsuyama  1:38:504 Direxiv Honda
20. #19 B.Treluyer 1:41:041 Impul Toyota
21. #6 R.Orime  1:49:683 5zigen Honda
22. #31 L.Duval  1:55:477 Nakajima Honda

05/27/06
irl
IRL hub hosts Ethanol Summit IRL hub hosts Ethanol SummitMore than 300 people attended an Ethanol Summit on May 25 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, according to Tom Slunecka, executive director of the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council (EPIC), a major participant in the event organized by the Indy Racing League (IRL). The summit provided an opportunity for government, industry and racing leaders to discuss ethanol.

“The message of the event—ethanol as part of high performance racing but also ethanol as a part of every American’s daily life—came across loud and clear,” said attendee Chris Novak, executive director of the Indiana Corn Growers Association and Corn Marketing Council.

The Ethanol Summit attracted a lot of attention from a diverse audience. Novak listed fuel distributors, retailers, auto manufacturers, and state and federal government officials as just a few of those in attendance. “The fact that you had all of these varied and unique interests coming together to talk about how to move ethanol forward I thought was the highlight of the program,” he said.  zzzz

An impressive number of media representatives also attended and reported on the event, Slunecka said. It was covered by everything from sports and agricultural writers from the United States to television crews from Australia and Japan.

The Ethanol Summit was a way for the IRL talk about its commitment to ethanol, according to Joanna Schroeder, director of communications for EPIC. The organization feels there’s a need for greater awareness among consumers. “They feel so strongly about the benefits of ethanol,” she said.

This year, IRL cars are running on a 90 percent methanol and 10 percent ethanol blend. Next year, it will go to 100 percent ethanol. Speed records were set at the beginning of the season, proving that ethanol is not slowing down the cars.

Tom Dorr, undersecretary of the USDA, was one of several speakers at the event. He emphasized the importance of addressing consumers’ concerns, so they are not only comfortable with switching to ethanol but proud to switch. “He really made sure that people understand the fact that this is a strategic long-term decision,” Slunecka said.

The topic of Slunecka’s presentation during the summit was on the consumer’s role. He told the audience that consumers need to either find stations that sell ethanol or ask for it from their regular retailers, he said.

Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman of Indiana also spoke at the event, along with racing officials Tony George, IRL founder and Indianapolis Motor Speedway chief executive officer; Bobby Rahal, Rahal Letterman Racing co-owner; and Buddy Rice, Danica Patrick and Jeff Simmons, drivers for Letterman Racing.

All in all, Slunecka was pleased with the event. “We hope to repeat these types of events at other tracks and at other times, between now and next year’s race season,” he said.

Slunecka also credited producers and supporters of the ethanol industry, saying none of the current interest in ethanol would be possible without the industry pulling together. Not only did industry leaders help sponsor the ethanol summit, they made it possible by going to IRL representatives to advocate the switch to ethanol. “These types of activities will dramatically change our future because it’s all about consumer acceptance,” Slunecka said.

Partnerships between the ethanol industry and racing probably won’t stop with the IRL, Novak said. Serious talks are underway to extend ethanol use to Indy Pro Series race cars, as well. Racing officials are also looking into the possibility of using biodiesel for semis and generators used at the race track. “As they do that, it speaks loudly to race fans … about the viability and the importance of renewable fuels,” Novak said. Ethanol Producer Magazine

05/27/06
f1
Dennis to retire within a decade Dennis to retire within a decade(GMM)  Ron Dennis says he is unlikely to still be in charge of McLaren in a decade.

The Woking based team is celebrating its fortieth anniversary at the Monaco grand prix, but 30 per cent shareholder and principal Dennis told Reuters that he would not be around for McLaren's 50th in 2016.

''To be quite honest, I'd just be delighted to be around in 10 years, let alone thinking about what I'm doing,'' said Briton Dennis, who turns 59 on June 1.

He added: ''Definitely another 10 years seems a hurdle too great for me to jump.  I want to be on a beach well before then.''

05/27/06
f1
FIA start search for ECU supplier FIA start search for ECU supplier(GMM) After commencing the search for F1's sole tire supplier, the FIA on Saturday invited potential suppliers of a standard ECU for 2008 to make their bids in June.

The governing body also offered its condolences to the family of Edouard Michelin, following the tire company CEO's accidental drowning on Friday.

05/27/06
f1
Monaco: Alonso tops practice 3 Monaco: Alonso tops practice 3Red Bull's 'RB2' was unveiled on Saturday morning with a painted red cape on it, to mark the team's promotion of Hollywood blockbuster 'Superman Returns' at Monaco.

Team drivers David Coulthard and Christian Klien, meanwhile, showed off real capes for photographers in pitlane, but Coulthard might also have found some superpowers as he powered to fourth quickest in pre-qualifying free practice.

Renault's Fernando Alonso, though, maintained his perch at the top, but Michael Schumacher showed signs of giving him a challenge by taking his Ferrari to the second best time.

The field's pace, by the way, is impressive, with Alonso nearly matching Kimi Raikkonen's pole of 2005 despite having a V8.

However, the Toyotas notably struggled in the morning sunshine, mixing it only with a couple of Super Aguri cars in an otherwise uneventful Monte Carlo session.

Pos Driver Team Time Laps
 1. Alonso Renault (M) 1:13.823 19
 2. M. Schumacher Ferrari (B) 1:14.031 + 0.208 20
 3. Fisichella Renault (M) 1:14.056 + 0.233 20
 4. Coulthard Red Bull-Ferrari (M) 1:14.550 + 0.727 19
 5. Rosberg Williams-Cosworth (B) 1:14.623 + 0.800 17
 6. Montoya McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1:14.785 + 0.962 21
 7. Webber Williams-Cosworth (B) 1:14.804 + 0.981 16
 8. Massa Ferrari (B) 1:14.842 + 1.019 24
 9. Button Honda (M) 1:15.020 + 1.197 21
10. Raikkonen McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1:15.124 + 1.301 17
11. Barrichello Honda (M) 1:15.283 + 1.460 20
12. Klien Red Bull-Ferrari (M) 1:15.476 + 1.653 19
13. Heidfeld BMW-Sauber (M) 1:15.591 + 1.768 20
14. Monteiro MF1-Toyota (B) 1:15.809 + 1.986 26
15. Albers MF1-Toyota (B) 1:16.066 + 2.243 26
16. Liuzzi Toro Rosso-Cosworth (M) 1:16.147 + 2.324 27
17. Speed Toro Rosso-Cosworth (M) 1:16.201 + 2.378 21
18. Villeneuve BMW-Sauber (M) 1:16.285 + 2.462 27
19. Trulli Toyota (B) 1:16.456 + 2.633 24
20. Sato Super Aguri-Honda (B) 1:17.148 + 3.325 24
21. R. Schumacher Toyota (B) 1:17.860 + 4.037 21
22. Montagny Super Aguri-Honda (B) 1:17.934 + 4.111 21

05/27/06
irl
Andrettis to appear on Good Morning America Andrettis to appear on Good Morning AmericaMario, Michael and Marco Andretti will be interviewed on Good Morning America on Saturday, May 27, on ABC-TV.  Check local listings for time.
05/26/06
Track News
LVMS Construction Update LVMS Construction UpdateLas Vegas Motor Speedway's Public Relations Department will be providing weekly construction updates as the speedway undergoes its multi-million dollar facelift, which will result in a new fan interactive garage area, a pit road closer to the grandstands, resurfaced and re-banked racing surface and state-of-the-art media center.

In the past week, construction crews have completed the following tasks:
1. Completed the building pad for the new media center (construction on the new Busch garage and media center will begin next week).
2. 140,000 cubic yards of fill material now in place for the new track surface (i.e. banking in Turns 1 and 2).
3. "Tunnel retrofit" (extending the infield tunnel outside Turns 1 and 2 while shortening the tunnel on the inside) is 99% complete.
4. Layout of the new ¼-mile oval which joins pit road and the front straightaway. This will be used for Legends Car and Bandolero racing, similar to LVMS' SMI-owned "sister tracks" Atlanta Motor Speedway, Lowe's Motor Speedway (near Charlotte, N.C.) and Texas Motor Speedway.
5. The new concrete retaining wall is 98% complete and will be finished in early June.

05/26/06
f1
F1 team bosses meet the press F1 team bosses meet the pressTEAM PRINCIPALS: Gerhard BERGER (Toro Rosso), Flavio BRIATORE (Renault), Christian HORNER (Red Bull), Jean TODT (Ferrari). Transcript
05/26/06
nascar
COT to test at Lowe's this week COT to test at Lowe's this weekEight teams fielding Chevrolets and Dodges tentatively plan to attend the "car-of-tomorrow" (COT) test Tuesday and Wednesday at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The two-day test will be the first for many of the teams with cars built under revised specifications after NASCAR recently took cars to the wind tunnel to examine the proposed noses and tails developed by each manufacturer. Neither Ford nor Toyota will be represented by cars on the track. Those teams planning to test are Richard Childress Racing, Hendrick Motorsports, Evernham Motorsports, Chip Ganassi Racing , Joe Gibbs Racing MB2 Motorsports Dale Earnhardt Inc. and Penske Racing South NASCAR plans to phase in the car of tomorrow over three years, beginning in 2007 at mostly short tracks and road courses. The 1.5-mile tracks, such as the one near Charlotte, are not scheduled to have the cars race there until 2009. NASCAR has left the door open for 2008 if teams adjust quicker to the new cars than anticipated. NASCAR Daily Scene
05/26/06
irl
George happy with moving of Carb Day George happy with moving of Carb DayTony George expressed his satisfaction with the large crowd that turned out Friday for Carb Day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, a crowd estimated at 50,000.  "Yeah, there's just 5,000 or 10,000 here today," George said with a snicker.
05/26/06
Racing News
Michelin Tire boss dies Michelin Tire boss diesUPDATE The American Le Mans Series extends its condolences to the family of Edouard Michelin, CEO of Michelin, on his passing Friday.

"The American Le Mans Series expresses its deepest sympathies to the family of Edouard Michelin and all our colleagues at Michelin Motorsports - both in Europe and North America," said Scott Atherton, President and CEO of the American Le Mans Series.

"As a founding corporate partner of the American Le Mans Series, Michelin has set the standard for Series involvement," Atherton continued. "Edouard Michelin's vision and contributions to motorsports and the auto industry were second to none, and he will be sorely missed." ALMS

05/26/06 Edouard Michelin, the boss of the Michelin tire company, has drowned in an accident in Brittany. Michelin was spending the weekend at the l'Ile de Sein in Brittany and was involved in a boating accident.

The great great nephew of company founder Andre Michelin, he was picked by his father Francois to be the leader of the business, despite having several elder brothers. After graduating from college he worked under an assumed name on the Michelin production line in Clermont-Ferrand to learn all aspects of the business and followed up with spells in purchasing, research and as an apprentice to Michelin's research center in Greenville, South Carolina. He then did his national service in the French navy before returning to the business in 1989. He ran Michelin's US operation in the early 1990s before taking over the top job in 1999. Grandprix.com

05/26/06
f1
George: USGP on pace with 2005 George: USGP on pace with 2005Tony George indicated today at Indianapolis that ticket sales were on pace with 2005 despite what happened last year when the Michelin drivers could not compete in the race because of a design flaw in their tires.

"We will be holding talks about the future of the USGP at this facility right after this year's race," said George. "Michelin has been a big help in that regard," indicating that they have kept their promise to make restitution for the fiasco they created at last year's race.

When asked if he had any discussions with Michelin about the safety of their tires for this year's race George said, "I have not had any direct discussions with them about that, but I'm sure just about everyone else has."

As for any new deal with F1 George indicated that it might not be a 7-year deal again if it were to happen. He indicated that his family didn't spend all the money they did on their facility for F1 with the expectation that it would be a short relationship, and appeared hopeful that the race could be made to work longterm. Mark C. reporting from Indianapolis

05/26/06
irl
Vision Racing announces new sponsorship Vision Racing announces new sponsorshipRock and Republic clothing brand announced a groundbreaking partnership with Vision Racing as primary sponsor of the No. 90 car driven by Townsend Bell. Tony George today acknowledged Townsend Bell for introducing the team to this new sponsor. The Rock and Republic branding will also dominate the Vision Racing No. 2 car driven by Tomas Scheckter and the No. 20 car driven by Ed Carpenter.

TONY GEORGE (Co-owner, Vision Racing): "I am very pleased with the way things have gone so far. Certainly, it has met my expectations. Over the off-season, we made the decision to drop our Indy Pro Series program so we could concentrate on the second car for the full season from a number of onsets and points of view. I think the planning and preparation that we put into the off-season has proven successful. I think we should really see some results. I said from the beginning I wouldn't make any predictions on how we would do this year, but we would let the results speak for themselves. It was always my expectations that come Indy, we would add a third car to our stable. It would most likely be a second-weekend qualifier. We would be in a position to fill the field. I had a number of drivers calling me about a third car, and one of them was Townsend (Bell). He presented an interesting opportunity. zzzz For one, he is a very qualified driver with a variety of experiences under his belt. He had an opportunity to provide us with a really strong third effort. He also introduced us to the gentleman on my left (Michael Ball) on the way back from Japan and really made it possible that we were able to turn the second-week effort into a full run program. I think it has really added a lot to our team from the fact that they he came right in and worked with a number of people from Panther (Racing). He seemed to fit right in and allowed us to develop a very cohesive month of May plan. He was certainly a front-runner all week long. That has really helped the team evolve with a number of issues. Having Michael (Ball) coming on board has been a blessing. He is engaged as an individual and has been very hands-on and very creative. He is very much focused on image and doing things right. He has made it possible for us to do this program right. All credit to Michael and his organization. I just wanted you all to have the opportunity to meet him because he has created a lot of fun. He has certainly made it possible for a lot of people to sit up and take notice of Vision Racing this year in addition to what the drivers have done."

MICHAEL BALL (CEO, chief designer, and founder, Rock & Republic): "I pretty much grew up with the Indianapolis 500. We had a tradition on my family. It's a pretty big family, as well. Coming to the hallowed grounds has been spectacular. It's even hard to explain. It's so cool. I've been around motorsports for a while, there's so many sights and sounds, but there's something about the fresh-cut grass or that this track wasn't designed on a computer that makes it very special to be here. From the perspective of what we're doing as being a part of this team in May, it's not necessarily anything we're looking to do for an advertising issue, it's really for an image and who we are as a company. Open-wheel motorsports, the IRL and the Indianapolis 500, in particular, is something that we want to be a part of, and we would like to see something like this go forward and for us to become stronger and build a team and continue this. It's been real positive for us."

(Would you like to have future involvement with this racing team?): "I would love to see this relationship grow and turn into something long term soon. I definitely want to be in racing."

(Are you looking to use this as a marketing test, too?): "We intend to use this as a bounce if you will ,in the men's market and create a little for the women, as well. But yes, we'll get something done in regards to what we're doing this weekend."

(Do you have any plans to create your own brand of race wear?): "That's always an option. Nothing on the drawing board right now, but I'm a huge fan of racing, so that wouldn't be a far stretch."

ED CARPENTER (No. 20 Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "That was kind of the whole plan coming into this season. We grew a lot over the winter. We more than doubled in size, so we had a lot more people around to do some of things I was trying to do last year in addition to driving. Coming into this season, that was all I really wanted to do was drive. I worked hard to better myself as a driver so I could be focused on that part of the team. Not that I didn't care about the other parts, I just needed to do what I needed to do to better myself. I think it helped me a bunch. We've got great people and put the right people in the right places on this team."

TOWNSEND BELL (No. 90 Rock & Republic Dallara/Honda/Firestone): (What's going through your mind two days before the Indianapolis 500?): "The standard stuff. I'm trying to think about what the race is going to be like and what sort of mentality I want to have on Race Day. It's a long race. Even this morning on our last little outing, I think I went out with a pack of about 10 cars, and everybody was racing and trying to get in front to feel what the car felt like in traffic. It's pretty indicative of what is going to happen; you're going to have make smart moves all day long, be patient and make sure you maximize what you have. It's been such a trouble-free month from almost every standpoint that it seems like things just happened pretty seamlessly for us as a team, trying to add a third car. It just gives you confidence. I feel confident and comfortable and very excited about the race."
 
TOMAS SCHECKTER (No. 2 Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone): (What have you learned in your first four starts?): "It's a combination of things. I've learned that it's a 500 mile race, not a 450-mile race, first of all. There's so many different things to this race. It's great being here and having Rock & Republic on our cars; it's such a great young image. We get so much positive influence from the fans out there screaming. I enjoy having them on our car and wearing the jeans and their clothing, and the whole team has grown closer together this month. I think in this month Vision Racing has put itself in a category that it wasn't in before. We want to keep this ball rolling and make sure we get a good result when Sunday comes along."

(About team dynamics): "The whole team is doing a great job of getting along. I've been with Ganassi, which has won championships, and I've been with Panther, and they've won championships. But how quickly this team has bonded has been great. The chemistry between me and Ed at the beginning and me and Townsend now. It all helps push the team a lot further."

05/26/06
irl
Castroneves team wins pitstop competition Castroneves team wins pitstop competitionWith a Carb Day crowd estimated at 50,000 cheering them on, the Marlboro Team Penske crew for Helio Castroneves beat the Andretti Green crew of Dario Franchitti by 0.4 sec to win the annual pitstop competition at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  The winning team took home a check for $50,000.  Mark C.

Qualification Round
1. Marlboro Team Penske (#3 Castroneves), 8.6398 seconds.
2. Andretti Green Racing (#27 Franchitti), 8.7586 seconds.
3. Marlboro Team Penske (#6 Hornish Jr.), 8.9405 seconds.
4. Rahal Letterman Racing (#15 Rice), 9.1060 seconds.
5. Target Chip Ganassi Racing (#9 Dixon), 9.5118 seconds.
6. Andretti Green Racing (#11 Kanaan), 9.551 seconds.
7. Andretti Green Racing (#26 Andretti), 9.8859 seconds.
8. Target Chip Ganassi Racing (#10 Wheldon), 10.2462 seconds.
9. Andretti Green Racing (#7 Herta) 9.9150 seconds
10. Rahal Letterman Racing (#16 Patrick), 17.9074 seconds (3-second penalty for right rear tire out of the pit box.)
Note:  Positions 7-10 are eliminated from the competition.

Quarterfinals
Rahal Letterman Racing  (#15 Rice) 9.7450 def. Target Chip Ganassi Racing (#9 Dixon), 12.2402 (Dixon given three-second penalty for equipment outside the box).
Andretti Green Racing (#11 Kanaan) 8.6719 def. Marlboro Team Penske (#6 Hornish), 8.6923  zzzz 

Semifinals
Marlboro Team Penske (#3 Castroneves), 7.7365 def. Rahal Letterman Racing (#15 Rice), 9.2871
Andretti Green Racing (#27 Franchitti), 8.4471 def. Andretti Green Racing (#11 Kanaan), 11.7395.

Final
Marlboro Team Penske (#3 Castroneves), 8.0852 def. Andretti Green Racing (#27 Franchitti), 8.4428. Castroneves climbed the fence after winning the pit stop challenge.

NOTES:

  • The winner of the Checkers/Rally's Pit Stop Challenge has gone on to win the Indianapolis 500 five times: Bobby Unser, Penske Racing (1981); Danny Sullivan, Penske Racing (1985); Jacques Villeneuve, Team Green (1995); Helio Castroneves, Marlboro Team Penske (2002), Buddy Rice, Rahal Letterman Racing (2004).
  • Marlboro Team Penske won $50,000 of the $100,000 purse for winning the Checkers/Rally's Pit Stop Challenge. Andretti Green Racing earned $15,000.
  • This is Marlboro Team Penske's ninth win in the Checkers/Rally's Pit Stop Challenge. It is the winningest team in the history of the contest. The last time Marlboro Team Penske won the contest was 2005 with Sam Hornish Jr. This is Helio Castroneves' second win. He also won in 2002, when he went on to win the Indianapolis 500 that year.
  • Castroneves' team recorded two of the fastest pit stops in the history of the competition. His semifinal time of 7.7365 was the fastest time recorded, according to IRL Timing & Scoring, while his final round time of 8.0852 seconds was the fastest final round time recorded.

QUOTES:
HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "It's been interesting this month for the entire organization. Sam (Hornish) capturing almost every day of speed, number-one spot, even the pole position. Now, we've captured the pit stop competition. It's big for everyone, and every team out there knows. So hopefully we'll continue in that direction. These guys, I always feel like they're incredible. When Rick called me and asked me to come in and get some practice in, now I know what he means by hit the marks." (About the final): "What I did, I knew Dario (Franchitti) was waiting be for he left, and before I was like, right away on the green flag drop, so I saw he was waiting and I thought that I was going to mess up, as well, so I decided to wait and see if he messed up as well. I knew that I just had to beat him, and I knew that we'd be able to get the time and I'd be the fastest to come out. I almost messed up, I went too fast, but I stopped. The brakes worked, and I stopped right there."

TIMOTHY WHITE (Marlboro Penske left-rear tire changer): "I feel ecstatic. This is what we work all season for. We get excited because we get just a little window during the year to get some recognition, so this is what we try really hard for. Helio's the best driver to be a part of that."

RICK RINAMAN (Chief mechanic, #3 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "These guys did a great job. We practice pit stops, and specifically started practicing the Indy 500 pit stop back at the shop in January. We practiced all this week. We would have substitute drivers come in when Helio wasn't around, and they would come in and hit the marks for us. Sometimes they were long, sometimes they were short, and sometimes they were right on the marks. That's good for us to have that difference because it gives us the confidence that we can change no matter where we stop. We knew that Helio was coming into to town, so we got him back in the car, and it gives him an idea of what the brakes feel like and stuff like that. It was Helio's day off, but he came in to help us, and we appreciate that. He's behind us, and we're behind him, and boy, did it pay off today. He couldn't have hit his marks any better today, and these guys behind me, what a job they did. It's unbelievable." (About the fast semifinal stop): "I think we knew that we needed to step up the first one. We did an 8.6 seconds before that, and we knew that we could do better, so we stepped up and proved what we could do. Everyone was on the ball, and we knew that we could do a 7. And when we did that 7.7 in the semifinals, the object of the final stop was just to be smooth. I told them just do what you need to do, and hopefully we'll come out on top, and that's what we did today."
 
TIM CINDRIC (President, Penske Performance, Inc): "The main thing for us is to just stay focused throughout the year. This is what these guys come to do. We worked hard last year and weren't quite as successful, but these guys continue to not settle for anything but the best. These guys continue to be consistent and come in here and do the job. You see the results we had, and on a day like today it makes all of the practice worthwhile."

DAVE POPIELARZ (Chief mechanic, #27 Klein Tools/Canadian Club Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "Honestly, for us to come this far is really good. We are down a guy, and another guy is operating with a broken leg. We are walking wounded right now. The average age for this team is 40 (years old). We are working hard. We had some bad stops last year, and we worked hard over the winter. We are proud to be where we are right now."

DARIO FRANCHITTI (#27 Klein Tools/Canadian Club Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "They did really good. We had a tough time in Japan. It was a very impressive performance. These guys wanted to win badly, and hopefully we get it done Sunday." (About what the competition does for the team): "This was good for the guys. They practiced so bloody hard for this."

05/26/06
Racing News
Driver loses both legs in Lowe's Speedway accident Driver loses both legs in Lowe's Speedway accidentCONCORD, NC – A foundation has been set up for Chris James following an accident on Wednesday night at The Dirt Track @ Lowe’s Motor Speedway.  Injuries stemming from the incident required the amputation of both of James’ legs.  James is a regular driver with the Redneck Racing Series and CRASHCar division at the Lowe’s Motor Speedway.  He pilots the #38 “Rimer Rocket.” 

The Chris James Foundation is set up through James’ employer, Adesa Impact.  Donations to aid James and his family can be made to the foundation at:

Chris James Foundation
c/o Adesa Impact
5100 Merle Rd.
Concord, NC  28025

James was injured while volunteering to drive a “packer” car at The Dirt Track @ Lowe’s Motor Speedway on Wednesday night prior to the World of Outlaws event at the track.  James has driven “packer” cars for several years and was helping to get the track in shape for the night’s racing.

James got out of his car to allegedly remove a piece of debris from the track and was subsequently hit by another “packer” car, pinning him against his car and the wall.  James was airlifted to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he has undergone several operations, including one that resulted in both of his legs being amputated below the knee.  James will remain in the hospital for an unknown period of time. zzzz

“CJ, as we like to call him, is one of the nicest people I know,” said Bob Dillner, television commentator for SPEED Channel and fellow CRASHCar / Redneck Racing Series competitor.  “We have developed a great friendship in just a short period of time.  We were lost when we started driving in the CRASHCar division at the Lowe’s Motor Speedway and even though he was racing against us, he was always right there next to us trying to help us out.  In fact, I think sometimes he worked on our car more than his; that’s the type of person he is.

“Plus, he’s funny as heck.  He’s always ribbing everybody in the shop, at work or at the track.  And he can take it as much as he can dish it out.  That’s what we (everybody on the Speed51.com team) like about him.  He’s a dedicated dad, family guy, business man and racer.  We hope to have him back at the racetrack as part of our gang as soon as possible.”

The 40-year-old James is married to his wife Lori and has two children, Lynn (19) and Mandi (17).

“CJ” has been with the Redneck Racing Series since its inception and had raced with the CRASHCar Division at Lowe’s Motor Speedway for the past two years.  He won a $5,000-to-win race behind the wheel of his “Rimer Rocket” last year following qualifying for the Coca-Cola 600.

“He’s a fun, positive, hard-working guy,” said Roger Slack, Director of Events at the Lowe’s Motor Speedway.  “Just before the accident, I was walking over to the drivers meeting and somebody came from behind me and slammed me in the back.  I turned around and saw it was CJ.  He told me ‘Rusty Drye told me to give you a message,’ and then he gave me the Rimer (town in which Chris worked) wave.  He is a jokester, just a great guy.

“He won one of the big CRASHCar races last year and has been a big supporter of the division since it began as the Road Hawgs.  He’s been working with us at The Dirt Track for about four years now and has helped out a bunch.  He’s just been a big part of what we’ve done here at the Lowe’s Motor Speedway and we want to see him back as soon as he can because he’s been like family.”  

Upon request of the James' family, the Redneck Racing Series will be back in action this coming Saturday at Concord Motorsport Park.  James’ “Rimer Rocket” will be in action on Saturday night with Dillner behind the wheel.  All cars will carry “Get Well” sticker in honor of James.

For more information regarding the Chris James Foundation, contact Jeremy Troiano at DSG by calling (704) 455–2051.

05/26/06
ips
Cunningham and Howard duel for win at Indy Cunningham and Howard duel for win at IndyWade Cunningham (right) out-dueled rookie Jay Howard over the final three laps to win the Freedom 100.  Cunningham led all 40 laps, but the statistic doesn't tell the entire story. He led Howard by .0007 of a second at the start-finish line at the start of the final lap but was overtaken in Turn 1. Cunningham moved to the outside entering Turn 3, hoping to get a run. He overtook Howard in the short chute between Turns 3 and 4 and held on for a victory by .6889 of a second.

"It was a tough day," Cunningham said. "Even though we led all 40 laps, it wasn't that easy. The first 20 went really smooth, and we had everything covered. But I don't know, with 15 laps to go, I developed a pretty bad gearbox problem in fifth gear, which is the gear I needed to run in.

"So I had to shift to sixth and run around in a gear, which wasn't suitable for a few laps, and that really allowed Jay to catch back up and make a race of it. I didn't know if I had him covered because I didn't know if fifth gear was going to last those last few laps. But the team told me to keep my foot down, and I did and everything held out, so I'm super-happy for that."

Results Friday of the Freedom 100 IRL Indy Pro Series event May 26 at the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with order of finish, starting position in parentheses, driver, laps completed, reason out (if any) and money earned:
 
1. (1) Wade Cunningham, Dallara, 40, $42,000
2. (2) Jay Howard, Dallara, 40, running $28,000
3. (3) Jaime Camara, Dallara, 40, running $22,500
4. (4) Chris Festa, Dallara, 40, running $19,000
5. (5) Alex Lloyd, Dallara, 40, running $18,000
6. (9) Jonathan Klein, Dallara, 40, running $17,500
7. (10) Bobby Wilson, Dallara, 40, running $17,000
8. (19) Geoff Dodge, Dallara, 40, running $16,000
9. (6) Tom Wood, Dallara, 40, running $15,500
10. (7) Nick Bussell, Dallara, 40, running $15,000
11. (12) Sean Guthrie, Dallara, 40, running $14,000
12. (18) Tom Wieringa, Dallara, 40, running $13,000
13. (13) Matthew Hamilton, Dallara, 40, running $12,000
14. (16) Brett Van Blankers, Dallara, 39, running $11,000
15. (8) Tyce Carlson, Dallara, 39, running $10,750
16. (14) Phil Giebler, Dallara, 39, running $10,500
17. (15) Mishael Abbott, Dallara, 39, running $10,250
18. (11) James Chesson, Dallara, 29, suspension, $10,000
19. (17) Jon Herb, Dallara, 15, suspension, $8,500
 
      Race Statistics
      Winner's average speed: 184.679 mph
      Time of race: 32 minutes:29.3233 seconds
      Margin of victory: 0.6889 of a second
      Cautions: None
      Lead changes: None
      Lap leaders: Cunningham 1-40.
      Point standings: Howard 153, Simmons 122, Bussell 112, Wilson
108, Matos 105, Klein 103, Festa 98, Camara 87, Dodge 86, Lloyd
85.

05/26/06
TV News
cc
Paul Newman on Regis and Kelly Paul Newman on Regis and KellyPaul Newman and one of his co-stars, Owen Wilson, were guests this morning on Live with Regis and Kelly from Lowe's Motor Speedway.  The world premiere of Disney-Pixar's exciting new computer-animated feature, "CARS" will take place tonight on giant outdoor screens at Lowe's.  Scenes from the film were shown where Paul plays the character Doc Hudson, a 1951 Hudson Hornet, and Owen Wilson is the rookie driver Lightning McQueen.  Paul was proudly wearing a Champ Car hat during his interview.
05/26/06
irl
TMS tries to lure Andretti and Unser to race TMS tries to lure Andretti and Unser to raceFORT WORTH, Texas – Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage, applauding Michael Andretti and Al Unser Jr. coming out of retirement to compete in Sunday’s Indianapolis 500, would like the sport’s legendary names to take it a step further.

Gossage announced Friday that he is offering a $100,000 sponsorship fee if Andretti and Unser Jr. would “un-retire” one more time and participate with the rest of the talented Indy Racing League IndyCar Series field in the Bombardier Learjet 500k on Saturday, June 10 at Texas Motor Speedway.

Should Andretti and Unser Jr. both participate in the Bombardier Learjet 500k, the sponsorship would be activated and each driver’s team would receive a $50,000 check. Both drivers must compete in “America’s Original Nighttime Indy Car Race” to activate the $100,000 sponsorship.

The cars also would be required to carry a “Texas Motor Speedway 10 Years Strong” decal on each side, but both drivers would be allowed additional sponsorship on their respective cars.

“Michael Jordan ‘un-retired,’ championship boxers do it all the time so why not Michael and Al Jr. one last time for the great fans at Texas Motor Speedway that have supported and embraced the Indy Racing League over the past 10 years?” Gossage said. “Running in the Indy 500 this weekend proves the competitive juices still flow in both of them, so we thought providing the necessary sponsorship support would give them sufficient reason to compete in Texas.”

Should Andretti and Unser Jr. compete in the Bombardier Learjet 500k, it would mark the first time these two Indy car superstars will have raced each other at Texas Motor Speedway.

Unser Jr. has made eight career IRL starts at Texas Motor Speedway, including perhaps the curtain-call highlight of his illustrious career. Unser Jr. outdueled Tony Kanaan in a photo finish that was decided by 0.081 of a second in the 2003 Bombardier Learjet 500k, the final triumph of his career. That win also is one of Texas Motor Speedway’s designated “Top 10 Moments” as the venue celebrates its 10th anniversary of racing this season.

Andretti, however, has never started a race at Texas Motor Speedway. His only potential opportunity came with Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) in 2001 when Texas Motor Speedway played host to the inaugural Firestone Firehawk 600. Andretti qualified 18th for that event, but the race was cancelled by CART officials on race day citing concerns for driver safety due to the high speeds.

“I’d love for Michael to finally have a chance to run at Texas Motor Speedway, especially side by side with his son Marco, and show our fans up close why he is considered one of the best of all time,” Gossage said. “For Al Jr., it would be a special moment to return to the site of his last visit to Victory Lane. And what a great thrill for the fans who can finally give a well-deserved, thunderous send-off to two of the sport’s greatest drivers.”

05/26/06
irl
Make-A-Wish Foundation joins PDM Make-A-Wish Foundation joins PDMThe Make-A-Wish Foundation has joined PDM Racing as an associate sponsor for the teams' effort for Sunday's Indianapolis 500.
05/26/06
irl
Hornish again fastest Hornish again fastest
05/26/06
Racing News
Petty says women don’t belong in racing Petty says women don’t belong in racingA woman's place is -- well, Richard Petty didn't go so far as to say it's not behind the wheel, but he doesn't think it's first over the finish line, either.

"I just don't think it's a sport for women," Petty, 68, told the Associated Press. "And so far, it's proved out. It's really not. It's good for them to come in. It gives us a lot of publicity, it gives them publicity.

"But as far as being a real true racer, making a living out of it, it's kind of tough."

This isn't new. In her recent book, "Janet Guthrie: A Life at Full Throttle," the first woman to drive in the Coca-Cola 600 recalled the reception she got in 1976 (then the World 600).

"When I shook hands with Richard Petty I thought I'd get frostbite," Guthrie wrote. "Later, he would be quoted as saying of me: 'She's no lady. If she was she'd be at home. There's a lot of differences in being a lady and being a woman.' "

Petty has come to appreciate her efforts, and even though NASCAR would dearly love a Danica Patrick of his own, he's sticking to his guns.

"His position is not going to change because that is who he is, that is part of who he is," said his son, Kyle Petty. "That's how he was raised, when he was raised, the era he was raised in." AP Story

After hearing about Petty's comments this morning in Indy, when asked during a morning press briefing with Team Rahal, Danica's Patrick's response was "Who?" Referring to the fact that Richard Petty is largely an unknown today.  "I suppose he has a right to have his opinion," said Patrick. Mark C.

05/26/06
nascar
Microsoft to sponsor No. 66 Microsoft to sponsor No. 66On Sunday, there will be a Best Buy Racing / Microsoft Sponsorship Announcement at Lowe's Motor Speedway to detail Microsoft car sponsorship, in association with Best Buy Racing and the unveiling of the #66 Windows Live OneCare Chevy. Best Buy Racing PR
05/26/06
irl
Rain at Indy...again Rain at Indy...againUPDATE The skies have cleared and the sun is out so activities should proceed as scheduled today. 05/26/06 It is raining again here in Indy this morning, but at 9:15 AM the skies are lightening a bit so there is still hope of getting the Carb Day practice (11:00 AM ET) in as well as the Freedom 100 Indy Pro race (12:30 PM ET). The overcast skies are keeping temperatures comfortable, but a high of 87 degrees F with humidity is forecast for race day, which would make it the warmest Indy 500 since 1953.

A large contingent of media is beginning to gather. We will have updates from the track throughout the day. Mark C. reporting from Indy

05/26/06
irl
cc
Still a 2nd-rate race, by George Still a 2nd-rate race, by GeorgeThis Chicago Tribune article criticizes the open wheel split and the Indy 500 saying, What is billed as "the 90th Indianapolis 500" will be run Sunday. I'm still waiting for the 80th.

The last world-renowned one was the 79th in 1995, which Jacques Villeneuve won just before he set off to Europe to become a world champion in Formula One.

Every running since then has been makeshift.

That is the truth, regardless of the marketing and public relations spin of the hirelings of the capricious crown prince of Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Tony George, who bosses this American institution with no credentials other than inheritance.

Simply put, he has muffed it, monumentally, for precisely a decade now.

After 10 annual charades, the 80th great one, the 80th flurry of news bulletins flashed around the world, could come as early as Sunday.

Third-generation Andretti, 19-year-old Marco, could dry his family's nearly 40-year trail of tears here. His father, Michael, making a comeback, could heal his personal 14 heart-wounds here.

Or Danica Patrick could become the first female winner, fulfilling the electric preview she gave the nation last year.

But none of that is likely.

Marco is a rookie, not yet prepared for all the horrific eventualities that arrive by the split second in this race. Michael, as always in his past, still has to beat both his life-long nemeses: first the immaculate cars of Team Penske and then the fates of this place.

"Danica Mania" has ebbed. She is in a lame-duck type of car this time, and so she is starting 10th. Last year she started fourth. The consensus is that she must be luckier, and even gutsier, than last year to do even as well as that fourth-place finish.

So, all told, the malaise of the past decade's titanic foolishness has settled again onto what was the most hallowed ground in motor racing. zzzz

The latest hopeful rumors of rebirth have fallen as flat as all the rest.

There is no chance--none--that the Indy Racing League and the rival Champ Car series (the carcass of once-mighty CART) will announce any sort of reunification this week.

A few die-hard optimists among Indy aficionados still cling to a notion of reconciliation sometime this year. You'll pardon me if I've heard all this before, and if I can't clear my mind of a refrain: "The years creep slowly by, Lorena," from a sad old song of both sides in the American Civil War.

The civil war in American open-wheel racing, 10 years after its own kind of Gettysburg, drags on. And on.

A decade ago this week, it surely seemed at the time, the decisive battle raged.

CART boycotted Indy, taking the best and brightest of the 500 away to Michigan for a rebellious race, the one and only U.S. 500. CART had no choice. The rules George imposed on it were outrageous.

By the end of that Memorial Day weekend, both sides were so devastated that nobody thought either side could hold out for long.

Just for openers, NASCAR's Daytona 500 became, by default, America's premier automobile race. It remains so.

And considering the popularity of NASCAR's Brickyard 400 here each August, the Indy 500, once the biggest race in the world, was no longer even the biggest race in town.  More at Chicago Tribune
05/26/06
alms
Microsoft and Turn 10 sponsor Risi Ferrari Microsoft and Turn 10 sponsor Risi FerrariMicrosoft and Turn 10 Studios have announced their involvement and sponsorship of Risi Competizione's Ferrari 430GT for the American Le Mans Series. As the official racing simulator during the entire race season, the Ferrari's paint scheme will display Forza Motorsport 2 and Xbox 360® on the hood of the car.

The new look 430GT debuted during the inaugural Lone Star Grand Prix in Houston where Risi drivers Mika Salo took third place and teammate Jaime Melo posted the fastest lap time of the race at 1:11.383.

American Le Mans Series fans will also get an in-depth look at life in the fast lane when the Forza Motorsport 2 team gets its hands dirty from inside the Risi racing pits. Racing fans and gamers can visit www.forzamotorsport.net for behind the scenes look at all the competitive action.

 Forza Motorsport 2, the sequel to Microsoft's award-winning, fully-customizable driving simulator Forza Motorsport, speeds its way onto the Xbox 360 this Holiday. With authentic simulation physics, bone-jarring damage and photo-realistic graphics as well as licensed tuning and customization options the franchise improves on the unprecedented features gamers enjoyed in its debut installment. Loaded with more than 300 of the world's hottest cars to collect, personalize and race; Forza Motorsport 2 gives you the complete racing experience. zzzz

"The addition of Forza Motorsport to the Risi Competizione team is a landmark for me personally," stated Risi Competizione Managing Director Giuseppe Risi. "This type of opportunity is very rare in our sport and came about as the result of a lot of hard work, over a period of almost three years, by members of both teams. It's a new world, both on and off the track."

 The 2006 debut of the Ferrari 430GT has served the Risi Competizione race team well thus far with third-place finishes at the 12 Hours of Sebring and the Lone Star Grand Prix. Risi is one of the most consistent race teams in the Series. To date, the team has won two championships, achieved 29 podium finishes and has a race completion ratio of 84 percent along with a podium place ratio of 64 percent. More information is available at www.risicompetizione.com.

"During the development of (the original) Forza Motorsport, our relationship with racing teams including Risi Competizione was vital to achieving a real and challenging racing experience for our fans," said Alan Hartman, Turn 10 Studio Manager. "Taking our partnership with Risi to the next level will enable us to engage the drivers as well as a world class support team to push Forza Motorsport 2 on the Xbox 360 to a whole new level of realism. Plus, the Ferrari 430GT is HOT!"

The next round of the 2006 American Le Mans Series is the New England Grand Prix, set for July 1 at Lime Rock Park. The race is scheduled for a 3 p.m. EDT start. CBS Sports will televise the event from 4 to 6 p.m. EDT on July 2. Live coverage will be available at www.americanlemans.com with American Le Mans Radio and IMSA Live Timing & Scoring. ALMS

05/26/06
f1
Berger expects STR to fall behind V8 rivals Berger expects STR to fall behind V8 rivals(GMM)  Gerhard Berger expects his 'Toro Rosso' team to drop further behind as the 2006 season drags on.

The Austrian, who bought fifty per cent of the former Minardi squad from Red Bull magnate Dietrich Mateschitz, reckons the performance-limited V10 Cosworth engine will be a hindrance rather than a help compared to its V8 rivals.

''We want to maintain our current level in the second half of the year,'' Berger, a grand prix veteran of the 80s and 90s, told the 'apa' agency.

He said complaints about the team's alleged performance advantage has been all about 'envy' and 'politics'.

Berger insisted: ''We do not expect to make big progress because the other teams' V8 engines, unlike our V10, will be further developed.

''The gap could become bigger.''

Berger said he expected his drivers to qualify between eighteenth and twentieth here on Saturday.

''At present we cannot expect much more,'' he added.

''But anything can happen here and the chaos in Monaco qualifying could be a positive point for us.''

05/26/06
TV News
USA TV reminders for Sunday and Monday USA TV reminders for Sunday and Monday


Courtesy of TVRacer.com
SpeedFreaks  
NHRA’s Kenny & Brandon Bernstein and scenes from the Champ Car Turbo Tour w/drivers AJ Allmendinger, Paul Tracy, Oriol Servia, Alan Sciuto, Mario Dominguez, Katherine Legge, the Face of CC Brandi Latimer and CC President Steve Johnson
Topic: Is the “month” of May too long these days for the Indy 500? Should the track again try to shorten it or keep it a month-long event?
12:30am-1:00am  SPEED
GP2 Championship Series Monaco
6:00am-7:30am (SDD) SPEED
Inside Drag Racing  
11:00am-11:30am ESPN2
NHRA 2Day Topeka, KS
11:30am-12:00pm ESPN2
IRL Indianapolis 500
12:00pm-4:30pm (L)
Simulcast on XM IndyCar Channel 145  ABC
Formula 1 Monaco
12:30pm-2:30pm (SDD) CBS
Superbike World Championship Silverstone
1:00pm-2:00pm (SDD) -Race 1
2:00pm-3:00pm (SDD) -Race 2 SPEED
NASCAR RaceDay Charlotte
3:00pm-5:00pm (L)  SPEED
Star Mazda Series Houston
(5/13/06) 
5:00pm-6:00pm SPEED
NASCAR Nextel Cup  Charlotte-Coca-Cola 600
5:00pm-10:00pm (L) FOX
Champ Car Atlantic Monterrey, Mexico
(5/21/06) 
6:00pm-7:00pm SPEED
Speed News Sunday  
7:00pm-8:00pm SPEED
Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain
2006 Indy 500 Winner
Rich Christensen (PINKS)  
9:00pm-10:00pm (L) SPEED
NHRA Topeka, KS
10:00pm-1:00am (SDD) ESPN2
NASCAR Victory Lane Charlotte
11:00pm-12:00am (SDD) SPEED

MONDAY

Rolex Sports Car Series Lime Rock Lakeville, CT
2:30pm-5:30pm (L) SPEED

All times listed are ET. For a complete listing of Sunday's and Monday's TV Programs, see TVRacer.com.

05/26/06
f1
Montoya admits blame for Spanish spin Montoya admits blame for Spanish spin(GMM)  Juan Pablo Montoya has belatedly admitted his role in a race-ending spin two weeks ago in Spain.

After the Barcelona race, the Colombian pinned the blame on a malfunctioning traction control system, to which Mercedes' Norbert Haug advised the McLaren driver to be more critical of himself.

Now, in Monte Carlo for the next grand prix, 30-year-old Montoya has reluctantly put his hand up.

Montoya maintains that his car's electronic system wasn't behaving quite right, and that his silver car was heavy with fuel, but told ITV: ''I pushed a bit hard and ... I lost it.

''There is no excuse, probably you could say (the blame) was a little bit my side as well.''

05/26/06
f1
McLaren in the hunt, says Alonso McLaren in the hunt, says Alonso(GMM) Championship leader Fernando Alonso thinks a new rival has joined the battle for victory in Monte Carlo -- McLaren.

Renault's Spaniard, quickest on Thursday morning in the Principality, was outpaced by a silver clad driver, Juan Pablo Montoya, in the afternoon.

''I believe McLaren are looking stronger here than they have recently,'' the 24-year-old, to switch to the Woking based squad in 2007, said.

Alonso told reporters: ''Ferrari and McLaren seem to be on good form. I think Ferrari will fight for pole, even if they were not up the front (on Thursday).''

The reigning world champion, however, is less certain about how his own Michelin tires will behave over a quick lap.

Like many rivals, he used only a single set of tires in Thursday practice.

05/26/06
f1
Klien blames team for poor form Klien blames team for poor form(GMM) Christian Klien has fended off criticism that he is now under severe pressure to defend his seat at Red Bull Racing.

The Austrian insists that recent rumors - which spelt immediate disaster for his career - were unfounded, and pushed the weight of blame for poor results so far in 2006 in the direction of his employer.

''In the last race I was ahead of (teammate) David (Coulthard),'' 23-year-old Klien insisted in Monte Carlo.

He admitted: ''The results are not particularly good at the moment, but in this situation it is difficult to do any better.''

Klien also downplayed Toro Rosso co-owner Gerhard Berger's recent criticism, after his countryman left him out when musing F1's rising stars.

''It is easy to blame the drivers,'' Christian countered, ''but if the whole package is not working properly then you should blame the whole package.''

Berger, a former ten-time winner whose Toro Rosso partner is Red Bull magnate Dietrich Mateschitz, said on Thursday that Klien must begin to up his game.

''At the end of the year (Klien) has to be in front of Coulthard,'' Berger said.

Klien, meanwhile, warned that his performance at Monaco might not be entirely up to scratch. In 2004, he crashed his Jaguar on the first lap, and last year he had to watch Vitantonio Liuzzi race in his place.

He said: ''You need a few years in order to be really comfortable here.''

05/26/06
Track News
Atlanta construction underway Atlanta construction underwayHAMPTON, Ga. – Atlanta Motor Speedway announced on March 1, 2006 major facility changes that will be in place for the October 27-29 Bass Pro Shops 500. These changes include replacing the Weaver Grandstands along the backstretch with an all-new Trackside Terrace RV camping area plus the addition of the new Winners Grandstand and Club One overlooking Turn 1.

Below are updates of work completed to date. Look for periodic updates following this one.

Trackside Terrace RV Camping area:

· The aluminum grandstands were removed in their entirety last week, finding new homes across the United States. Sections were shipped to Bill Davis, owner of Bill Davis Racing, to be used in a cattle auction barn. Other sections were shipped to a Little League Baseball park in Hackett, Ark., Tri-State Speedway in Ft. Smith, Ark., Douglas Motorsports Park in Douglas, Ga. and sections were sent to Tanner High School in Athens, Ala.

· The demolition of the concrete under the aluminum bleachers was completed on May 23, and demolition of the steel Weaver suite structure began today with a scheduled completion date of Friday, May 26.

· Following the removal of the steel Weaver structure, grading will begin resulting in an 85’ wide concourse area for motor homes. The hill will also be lowered 10’ and moved forward resulting in a better view for fans parked in the Trackside Terrace Camping section.

Winners Grandstand / Club One:

· More than half of the footers that will support the Winners Grandstand are currently poured.

· Steel has arrived and portions of the steel frame around the elevator shaft were erected today.

· Grading in Turn 1 is underway and will result in a concourse level widened by 16’.

05/26/06
cc
Track News
Molson GP of Toronto news Molson GP of Toronto newsToronto, Ontario: For 20 years, open wheel racing has brought fast-paced action to the streets of Toronto. As the Molson Grand Prix of Toronto experiences a REVolution with a new look, ownership and a fresh new attitude, its sponsor line-up is elevating the excitement with more to see and more to do during the week-long festival of speed. This year, the event boasts a partnership line up of some of Canada's most prolific marketers including Molson Canada, Yahoo! Canada and D'Angelo Brands.

"Our eclectic mix of partners is a vital component of what makes our event successful," says Tyler Mazereeuw, Director, Corporate Partnership for the Molson Grand Prix of Toronto. "Our partners help us promote the event through several marketing channels that we traditionally wouldn't have access to, provide infrastructure, expertise and bring added-value experiences to our event and our fans. The Molson Grand Prix of Toronto is a unique environment where consumers are actively seeking brand experiences. This allows our partners to cultivate new and existing relationships with their target audience."  zzzz

Partnerships and the event experience

When it comes to understanding the value and power of sponsorship investment, Chris Lang, President of the Lang Marketing Network, is one of the leading Canadian authorities. For 38 years, Lang has worked with properties and corporations to build successful partnerships.

"The key to a successful partnership is not just buying a sponsorship, but activating against a partnership", explains Lang. "Brands must use associative marketing to reach out to consumers and engage them. True ROI comes from building programs around your investment that reinforce the association and provide value to your existing consumers and create opportunities to interact with potential new consumers. As one of the premier sporting events in Canada, the Molson Grand Prix of Toronto's management team is the leading edge in terms of working with partners to create memorable experiences for event goers."

Those who have attended the Molson Grand Prix of Toronto in previous years know the event as fast, thrilling and more than just a race. They partake in a full week of exciting on-track action and off-track attractions that make the Molson Grand Prix of Toronto the landmark event it is today.

The Molson Grand Prix of Toronto features partners who play a significant role in the off-track excitement of race weekend. The following are a few examples of some of the initiatives these companies are undertaking surrounding this year's event:

As the owners and promoters of the race for 20 years, Molson Canada truly brought racing to the streets of Toronto. Although they've moved from the ownership position, the brewer remains a committed supporter and title sponsor of the Molson Grand Prix of Toronto and is leveraging the event to bring valued and exciting programming to their bar and restaurant customers and their consumers. Apart from the beer gardens and interactive areas on site, Molson will be taking multiple Grand Prix themed parties to key accounts throughout the GTA in the weeks leading up to race weekend. During race week, they turn the temperature up with their Molson Heat Week Party Series at downtown accounts, incorporating show cars, music and ticket prizing giveaways. They will also stage the Molson Canadian Pit Stop Party on John Street in support of the Grand Prix Charitable Foundation of Toronto.

Thrill seekers young and old will be on top of it all with Yahoo! Canada's Molson Grand Prix of Toronto micro-site. Designed to be a valuable interactive resource, the site will feature event news, information and features including customized avatars, video streaming and downloads.

Hot cars, pretty women, race car drivers and the July sun inspired D'Angelo Brands, the Official Beverage Sponsor, to cool down race-goers with Cheetah energy drink and DUH! soft drink refueling stations during the three-day event. The company is also undertaking an extensive on-pack promotion across its retail channels that offers consumers the opportunity to win an Ultimate VIP Grand Prix of Toronto weekend. The promotion will be supported through an integrated television and print advertising program.

"In creating a valuable partnership for their brands, these companies have contributed to the success and fan experience for the Molson Grand Prix of Toronto," states Charlie Johnstone, President and CEO of the Molson Grand Prix of Toronto. "Their programs generate valuable awareness and prestige for our event."

Also joining Molson Canada, Yahoo! Canada, and D'Angelo Brands as official Molson Grand Prix of Toronto partners are:

24 Hours
Abrams Towing Services
Alliance Atlantis Motion Picture Distribution - "Snakes on a Plane"
Atto & Associates Insurance Brokers
Bosch Power Tools
Canadian Forces
CN Tower
Delta Chelsea Hotel
Ford Motor Company of Canada
Global Television
Harvey's
John Deere
Levitra
MBNA Canada
Mobil 1
Ontario Tourism/Tourism Toronto
Pizza Pizza
Reckitt Benckiser - Frank's Red Hot
Samsung Electronics Canada Inc.
Sunoco
Toronto Sun
Vital Link Ice Cream - Nestlé Ice Cream
Xbox

The 2006 Molson Grand Prix of Toronto is a week-long festival surrounding the international field of racers in the Champ Car World Series. The event features the popular outdoor Thunder Alley presented by Toronto Sun filled with interactive games, beach volleyball, live music, beer gardens, the Champ Car Paddock presented by Mobil 1 and many other unique attractions. Across the track, the National Trade Centre will host the new GPT Auto Expo presented by 24 Hours with more than 300,000 square feet of the most tricked-out automobiles in the country as well as live music, dance and battle-of-the-bands competitions and car shows.

About the Molson Grand Prix of Toronto
New ownership, a new name and a new core team makes this a landmark year for the Molson Grand Prix of Toronto. For the past 20 years, Torontonians have celebrated a long-weekend of racing on their streets and 2006 promises to be another spectacular festival of international racers and exciting off-track entertainment. Tickets are on sale now at www.grandprixtoronto.com or by calling 1-416-872-2222. Join the REVolution. Evolution. Only Faster!

05/26/06
gp2
Hamilton wins GP2 pole Hamilton wins GP2 poleMcLaren protégé Lewis Hamilton was superb in qualifying for Saturday's GP2 race at Monaco, dominating the entire 30-minute qualifying session.

At right Hamilton is congratulated by Frederic Vasseur after securing the pole.

Hamilton steered clear of the multiple incidences around the tight 2-mile street circuit, working his time down to 1:20.564 with a few minutes remaining. Franck Perera (DAMS) the only man who came close to Hamilton's time with a 1:20.717.

Pos Driver Team Time Laps
 1. Hamilton ART Grand Prix 1:20.430 17
 2. Perera DAMS 1:20.717 + 0.287 19
 3. Bruni Trident Racing 1:21.155 + 0.725 17
 4. Premat ART Grand Prix 1:21.227 + 0.797 19
 5. Pla DPR Direxiv 1:21.277 + 0.847 10
 6. Piccione DPR Direxiv 1:21.386 + 0.956 18
 7. Carroll Racing Engineering 1:21.542 + 1.112 18
 8. Valles Campos Racing 1:21.616 + 1.186 19
 9. Porteiro Campos Racing 1:21.679 + 1.249 16
10. Zuber Trident Racing 1:21.744 + 1.314 17
11. Di Grassi Durango 1:21.926 + 1.496 15
12. Piquet Jr. Piquet Sports 1:21.940 + 1.510 19
13. Villa Racing Engineering 1:22.075 + 1.645 16
14. Lapierre Arden International Ltd 1:22.112 + 1.682 19
15. Lopez Super Nova International 1:22.296 + 1.866 16
16. Gommendy iSport International 1:22.377 + 1.947 18
17. Glock BCN Competicion 1:22.428 + 1.998 17
18. Pantano FMS International 1:22.474 + 2.044 10
19. Monfardini DAMS 1:22.620 + 2.190 18
20. Ammermueller Arden International Ltd 1:22.702 + 2.272 18
21. Fauzy Super Nova International 1:23.231 + 2.801 16
22. Hernandez Durango 1:23.418 + 2.988 18
23. Negrao Piquet Sports 1:23.569 + 3.139 18
24. Viso iSport International 1:24.130 + 3.700 10
25. Yoshimoto BCN Competicion 1:24.335 + 3.905 8
26. Tahinci FMS International 1:25.997 + 5.567 5

05/26/06
gp2
Perera tops practice 2 Perera tops practice 2With track conditions absolutely prefect, the GP2 series embarked on its second practice session of the 2006 Monaco weekend.

As with yesterday’s session it was Ernesto Viso who set the early pace with a 1:29.577, a time which was quickly displaced by Alex Premat’s 1:27.715.

With the cars all circulating at once, traffic was once again a problem, however Franck Perera (pictured right) made his intentions clear when he set a 1:25.100 to head the field.

Hiroki Yoshimoto was the next man on top of the times as the Japanese became the first pilot to drop into the 1:24s with a 1:24.866. But Franck immediately came back, lowering the bar to a 1:23.643. zzzz

Hiroki wouldn’t have a chance to better his time, as a twitch on the exit of Swimming Pool launched him into the barriers, bringing out the red flags with just under 20 minutes left to run.

When the green light shone and the session restarted, Gimmi Bruni set a new best of 1:22.963 before Alex pipped him with a 1:22.825. But with exactly 10 minutes left in the session the pace got even hotter when Lewis Hamilton made his first visit to the top of the timesheets of the day with a 1:21.709.

Franck set about catching what looked to be a perfect lap from Lewis, and went second on a 1:21.948 before putting everything together to topple the Briton with a time of 1:21.702.

The session ended with Franck quickest, followed by Lewis, Jose Maria Lopez, Alex, Adrian Valles, Gimmi, Ernesto, Timo Glock, Ferdinando Monfardini and Adam Carroll.

With just half an hour until qualifying, BCN Competicion retrieved Hiroki’s car and set about repairing the damage, while behind them in the pits, Dams reflected on a session well done.

Pos Driver Team Time Laps
 1. Perera DAMS 1:21.702 19
 2. Hamilton ART Grand Prix 1:21.709 + 0.007 16
 3. Lopez Super Nova International 1:21.759 + 0.057 18
 4. Premat ART Grand Prix 1:21.957 + 0.255 17
 5. Valles Campos Racing 1:22.504 + 0.802 18
 6. Bruni Trident Racing 1:22.635 + 0.933 18
 7. Viso iSport International 1:23.014 + 1.312 13
 8. Glock BCN Competicion 1:23.021 + 1.319 16
 9. Monfardini DAMS 1:23.233 + 1.531 11
10. Carroll Racing Engineering 1:23.362 + 1.660 15
11. Piquet Jr. Piquet Sports 1:23.403 + 1.701 19
12. Piccione DPR Direxiv 1:23.480 + 1.778 16
13. Pla DPR Direxiv 1:23.655 + 1.953 15
14. Pantano FMS International 1:23.686 + 1.984 16
15. Zuber Trident Racing 1:23.708 + 2.006 17
16. Villa Racing Engineering 1:23.855 + 2.153 16
17. Porteiro Campos Racing 1:23.876 + 2.174 14
18. Gommendy iSport International 1:23.937 + 2.235 13
19. Fauzy Super Nova International 1:24.099 + 2.397 16
20. Di Grassi Durango 1:24.256 + 2.554 14
21. Lapierre Arden International Ltd 1:24.489 + 2.787 13
22. Negrao Piquet Sports 1:24.605 + 2.903 20
23. Yoshimoto BCN Competicion 1:24.866 + 3.164 6
24. Ammermueller Arden International Ltd 1:25.071 + 3.369 9
25. Hernandez Durango 1:26.097 + 4.395 11
26. Tahinci FMS International 1:27.488 + 5.786 17 GP2 Series

05/26/06
f1
JB says Monaco not too dangerous JB says Monaco not too dangerous(GMM) Jenson Button has added his denial to suggestions that Monaco is too dangerous a venue for F1.

The Honda driver, who missed the event both in 2003 and 2005 due to injury and team bannings, counts his home city among his favorite tracks of all.

JB, who has however ruled out victory on Sunday, enthused: ''I love Monaco.

''Compared to other circuits I do not think that it is overly dangerous.''

05/26/06
f1
Rivals wrong to want tire rule change Rivals wrong to want tire rule change(GMM) Flavio Briatore and Geoff Willis were wrong to ask the FIA to correct a possible tire inequity next year, according to Ross Brawn.

Ferrari's technical director says that it is the fault of Michelin, not the governing body, that every team will have to switch to Bridgestone rubber for the 2007 season.

Michelin will pull out of F1 at the end of the year.

Briatore (Renault) and Willis (Honda), both chiefs of presently Michelin-clad outfits, reckon the FIA should change the tire rules so that they do not lag behind Bridgestone's existing teams like Ferrari.

''They should go and complain to Michelin,'' Brawn told reporters at Monaco.

He thinks it is 'entirely fair and proper' that squads like Ferrari, but also Williams and Toyota who astutely switched to Bridgestone over the winter, enjoy the benefit.

''It is not our fault that Michelin is pulling out,'' Brawn said.

05/26/06
irl
Indy race on TV in more than 200 countries Indy race on TV in more than 200 countriesESPN, the exclusive worldwide television representative of the IndyCar® Series and the Indianapolis 500, will televise the Indianapolis 500 live to 139 countries and territories outside of the United States.

ESPN's international networks will televise the race throughout Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and the Pacific Rim.

The green flag falls on the 33-car starting field of "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" at 1 p.m. (ET) Sunday, May 28 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

ESPN is also responsible for the global syndication of the Indy 500 for live broadcast in the Baltic States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. In addition, ESPN will distribute the Indy 500 to the American Forces Network serving military personnel stationed in 176 countries and U.S. territories. In the United States, the Indy 500 will be telecast live to a nationwide audience on ABC Sports.

When combined with ESPN's international distribution efforts, the estimated worldwide total for the Indy 500 will reach more than 200 countries and over 340 million households worldwide.

ESPN will have two separate teams broadcasting the race in Spanish and English. Spanish-language announcers will be veteran broadcaster Andrés Agulla and Alex Pombo; Gary Lee and Larry Rice will provide commentary in English.

ESPNdeportes.com, the company's Spanish-language Web site, also will provide comprehensive coverage of the Indy 500 by offering live Real Time results of race action, daily columns from ESPN reporters and commentators, chats with ESPN personalities, a full pre- and post-race photo gallery, video clips and more.

05/26/06
irl
Indy to roll out red carpet Indy to roll out red carpetINDIANAPOLIS - The red carpet will roll out in Indianapolis this weekend as celebrities from around the world arrive in Indianapolis for a number of events surrounding the 90th running of the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race.

The festivities begin in earnest Friday, May 26 with Miller Lite Carb Day, featuring an afternoon concert co-headlined by the B-52's and Third Eye Blind. The nationally televised IPL 500 Festival Parade is Saturday, May 28, which precedes the Regions Bank 500 Festival Snake Pit Ball presented by Cindy & Paul Skjodt, a sold-out, black-tie gala event that evening featuring the music of KC and the Sunshine Band.

The Indianapolis 500-Mile Race is scheduled for a 1 p.m. (ET) start Sunday, May 28 and will be broadcast live on the ABC television network and IMS Radio Network with pre-race coverage beginning at noon.

Headlining the list of celebrities is Lance Armstrong, the seven-time Tour de France winner who will drive the 2006 Chevrolet Z06 Corvette Pace Car on Race Day. zzzz

Three entertainment personalities expected to attend are also co-owners of IRL IndyCar Series teams: actor Patrick Dempsey, star of "Grey's Anatomy" and a co-owner of Vision Racing; David Letterman, host of "The Late Show with David Letterman" and co-owner of Rahal Letterman Racing; and NBA superstar Carmelo Anthony, co-owner of Carmelo Hemelgarn Racing.

Other celebrities and musical acts expected to attend the 90th Indianapolis 500 (listed in alphabetical order):

. Tim Allen, comedian and actor ("The Santa Clause," "Home Improvement")
. Yancey Arias, actor ("Kingpin")
. Gary Baxter, defensive back, Cleveland Browns
. Andre Berto, Olympic and professional boxer
. Rupert Boneham, "Survivor"
. Gordie Brown, comedian
. Sarah Wayne Callies, actress ("Prison Break")
. Jim Caviezel, actor ("The Passion of the Christ")
. Kim Coates, actor ("Black Hawk Down," "Pearl Harbor")
. Angie Everhart, model
. William Fichtner, actor ("Invasion," "Crash," "Black Hawk Down"
. Jorge Garcia, actor (Hurley on "Lost")
. Carmine Giovinazzo, actor ("CSI: NY")
. Florence Henderson, actress and singer
. Ed Herrmann, actor ("The Aviator")
. Ashley Judd, actress ("Heat," "High Crimes," "De-Lovely")
. Naomi Judd, musician
. Wynonna Judd, musician
. Robert Knepper, actor ("Prison Break")
. Jeanette Lee, a.k.a "The Black Widow," champion billiards player
. Sugar Ray Leonard, former world champion boxer
. Ludacris, musician and actor ("Crash")
. Michael Madsen, actor ("Reservoir Dogs")
. Richard Marx, musician
. Jim Nabors, actor and singer
. Pat O'Brien, television host ("Insider")
. Luke Perry, actor ("Beverly Hills, 90210")
. Oscar Robertson, Indiana and NBA basketball legend
. Shannon Sharpe, former All-Pro NFL tight end
. Gene Simmons, KISS rock star
. Staind, rock band
. Marc Summers, host, Food Network
. LaLa Vasquez, MTV VJ
. James Wilder, actor ("Melrose Place," "Models Inc.")

Several executives from the Academy Awards show will be in attendance, led by Sid Ganis, president of the Academy Awards. A number of stars from daytime television are scheduled to attend, including six actors from ABC daytime soap operas: Aiden Turner and Jeff Branson from "All My Children," Renee Goldsberry and Forbes March from "One Life to Live" and Greg Vaughan and Jason Thompson from "General Hospital." Don Diamont of "The Young and the Restless" is also scheduled to attend.

Many celebrities will participate in the 500 Festival Parade and Snake Pit Ball on Saturday, and walk the red carpet into the Bombardier Pagoda at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Race Day from 10-10:30 a.m., followed by a VIP lap around the famed 2.5-mile IMS oval at 11:45 a.m.

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